Man-animal conflict increases, around 60 people lost lives in 3 years

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Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Aug 7: There has been increase in man-animal conflict incidents in Jammu and Kashmir with around 60 people have been killed in the last three years.
An official of Wild Life Department said that mass urbanization, denudation of forests, encroachment of forestland, vanishing of buffer zones in the forests are some of the reasons responsible for increasing conflicts between humans and animals.
“Animals do not feel safe in forest so they are entering into residential areas,” the official said.
“Leopards stray into residential areas usually in search of food. The human presence makes them insecure, following which they resort to attacking people,” the official said.
In the last three years, official figures reveal that around 60 people were killed and around 600 injured in man-animal conflict in the state.
Perturbed over the rising incidents of the man-animal conflicts, the Wild Life Department has asked people residing near forests to take extraordinary precautions.
Another official of Wild Life Department said that they issued an advisory in view of increasing man-animal conflicts in Kashmir especially in the month of July.
In the advisory, the Department has also asked people to avoid using of bush growths and forest fringe areas for nature calls in late evening or night hours.
“Provide sufficient light around your utilities outside your home so that animals do not feel safe in the vicinity. The villagers must regularly remove all bushes or shrubs from the vicinity of houses in cooperative manner,” it adds.
“Do not chase or try to go near to a wild animal if sighted from a distance. Provide sufficient light around your utilities outside home so that animals do not feel safe in the vicinity,” the advisory said.
“Children and women are vulnerable to leopard. Bear attacks, which can be contained if they move in groups or children are accompanied by an elderly person,” the advisory reads.
“Any type of bell or sound producing device be put around the neck of few cattle,” it reads.
In the month of July, several incidents of man-animal conflicts have been reported from different parts of Kashmir.
On July 20, a teenager was attacked and injured by a bear in Marbal area of north Kashmir. The teenager was in his orchard when a bear attacked and injured him.
Similarly, on July 26, a bear also attacked people in a Tral village of Pulwama district. Several villages of Shopian district have been vulnerable to attacks from wild animals. They have appealed the government several times to ensure their safety. (KNS)