Two more leopard sightings were reported in Mandawar, the village in Sohna (district Gurgaon, India) where residents thrashed a two-and-a-half-year-old big cat to death on November 24 Last year.
Fear stalked the village on Wednesday (1 March 2017) even though the wildlife department confirmed that its officials could not trace any pugmarks. “With a few villagers sighted a leopard on Monday, a farmer claimed to have spotted a big cat on Tuesday morning. We are scared and don’t want any untoward incident like what had happened in November last year,” Rakesh, a resident of the Mandawar village, said.
Shagun, a resident of Kherli Lala, a neighbouring village of Mandawar, said, “We don’t want human-animal conflict to happen here. Thankfully, this time when we called the wildlife department, officials reached on time. They were well equipped to tackle any situation.”
According to MD Sinha, conservator of forests, Gurgaon circle, the forest officials could not spot any pugmarks. “It’s evident that Aravali has leopards and rich wildlife exists in the area,” he said.
Both forest officials and activists call for an urgent need to protect the Aravali hills, which are under continuous threat from the builder mafia.
“We need to bring down human interference in the area. We are already training our staff in wildlife management and rescue operations, but there is a need to implement a proper wildlife management plan,” said Sinha.
Amina Shervani, a city-based environmentalist, said, “The authorities should immediately declare the entire Aravali range no-construction zone, and strict action should be taken against those who carry out any non-forest activities in the area.” (The Times of India)