Leopard in city

At least one leopard in Srinagar’s Rawalpora area is giving anxious moments to people living in and around the city suburb.

Officials say that teams have been deputed for the last three days and all measures are in place to capture the beast. Nonetheless, it is roaming in the area and continues to frighten and give sleepless nights to people in the neighborhood. People are hoping that there is no untoward incident and that the animal is caught sooner than later to give reprieve to them.

Over the years, there has been an increase in man-animal conflicts, leading to the loss or injury to the precious life. Also, importantly, the rising incidents of man-animal confrontation allude to disturbances caused in wildlife. In the last few years, leopards have been spotted in Bagh-e-Mehtab and other areas of Srinagar. Destruction of forests sends wild animals closer to humans.

There has been reckless exploitation of the environment over the years. Both officials at the helm of affairs and people are responsible. The growing man-animal conflicts serve as a dire warning to all the concerned that there should be no hasty permissions for projects in already enfeebled forests. There is ample evidence that environmental protection confers health protection and forests should be left undisturbed.

No one should lose sight of the fact that wildlife plays an invaluable role in sustaining human and other forms of life. The basic premise of culture has been the co-existence of nature and human civilization but unfortunately, the indiscriminate use of natural resources has gradually turned this coexistence into man-animal conflict.

If poaching is one aspect of the conservation challenge, the other side of the story is the fast encroachments that threaten to endanger animals and the environment.

There is a need to promote conservation encompassing survival of all as well as diversity of the ecosystem. There is a need to create awareness, as also the action aimed at preventing people from causing disturbances to the wildlife.

Also, there is an urgent need for the authorities to sensitise people and also devise foolproof measures to tackle wild animals as and when they venture close to human populations so as to prevent the loss of previous life.

There is also a need to implement strict mitigation strategies for resolving human-wildlife conflicts. Further it is the duty of all stakeholders, and experts from the concerned sectors to improve imparting community education regarding wild animals.

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