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| Last Updated:08/06/2021

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Wildlife Institute of India submit study of human-leopard conflict in Pauri Garhwal to IG Forests

DEHRADUN: Pauri Garhwal district witness spate of killings of people every year by leopard. Two innocent children too have been killed quite recently there. It was just sometime ago, Wildlife Institute of India conducted a sample study on Pauri district with regard to human-leopard conflicts and observed that it was not the increase in leopard numbers that are responsible for the killings but people going into the forest to relieve themselves, which is the time when the big cats are out hunting for prey. The report has now been submitted to Inspector General of Forest, Government of India, SK Khanduri. Taking note of these findings, BC Khanduri, former CM and now Pauri MP has written to the chief minister, district magistrate , IG Forests and principal chief conservator of forests for taking immediate action in this direction and offering all his support in this regard.

"In Uttarakhand , Pauri Garhwal district has been severely impacted due to leopard predation on humnas especially women and children. Threre WII undertook a study on this subject. It was reported that frequencies fo the attack were relatively high during either early morning before 8 am or duing evening between 4 and 9. These attacks coincided wth timing of toilet activities as in hills most of the families do not have toilet facilitates and they use open areas for this purpose," SK Khanduri told TOI.

The report says that leopard attacks on human are prominent that are isolated , without electricity and surrounded by heavy scrub/forest.

The Pauri district consists of two divisions Pauri and Lansdowne and into six tehsils. Of the total surveyed area, 19.2 pc was in high conflict area that requires immediate attention. 68.6% victims were children below 15 years. Predation on the female is relatively high in comparison to males in all age group.

VB Mathur, director WII said, "Pauri Garhwal district has already been listed under the Swachh Bharat Mission to provide individual household toilets. Administrative blocks of Pauri , namely Pabau, Pauri, Dugadda, Dwarikhal, Kalgikhal, Jaiharikhal have high human predation by leopards. So households in these blocks should be identified on the priority basis with the support of the district administration, panchayat and state forest department with technical support from the WII. This will contribute to meeting both the objectives of mitigation of human-leopard conflicts as well as provision of proper sanitation facilities in rural areas."

Meanwhile Nitishmani Tripathi, divisional forest officials of Lansdowne forest division told that the a team of two shooter, Joy Hukil of Pauri Garhwal and Asif from Kanpur have been authorized to kill the leopard that is suspected to have killed the seven-year-old girl in Dharkot on Monday and four year old boy on November 15 just a km away. The shooters have created machan and are on lookout for the animal.