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Another leopard caught and conflicts between humans and wild animals increase

Hyderabad: Forest officials trapped a leopard in Maddur mandal of Narayanpet district on Monday evening and released it in Amrabad Tiger Reserve on Tuesday evening. The area is far from a forest.

This capture comes less than a week after the capture of another leopard on the premises of Shamshabad airport. This leopard was also released into the tiger reserve.

This is part of a growing trend of leopard sightings and captures in the state, pointing to a potential increase in human-wildlife conflicts.

“In the days to come, we may witness more such conflicts,” said RM Dobriyal, principal chief conservator of forests, adding that such conflicts may arise out of nowhere, as happened in the case of the elephant which strayed from Chhattisgarh into Komaram Bheem Asifabad district. recently.

The leopard released on Tuesday evening adds to the list of such cats added to the tiger reserve in the last four years. According to authorities, including the latest release, the tiger reserve now has eight leopards captured elsewhere and released there.

“As we respond quickly by paying compensation for cattle killed and working with residents in villages where leopards prey on cattle, sheep or goats, we are able to control the situation. Our appeal is that if there is a wild animal in an area with people, then they should inform the authorities and we will take steps to mitigate the problem,” Dobriyal said.

Although according to the last state census in 2022, there were 297 leopards, it is expected that their actual number may be much higher as they are capable of surviving in non-forest areas.

According to field director of Amrabad Tiger Reserve, N. Kshitija, the leopard captured in Maddur Mandal was a sub-adult and is believed to have killed a few calves in the area. Although there is no forest there, mostly hills with very thin brush, it is an ideal place for leopards who can survive by feeding on stray dogs and sometimes livestock.

“There is no forest as such within a radius of 70-80 km from where he was moving and was captured. As he started attacking cattle, we trapped him and released him in the tiger reserve near a water body as it is summer,” she said.

“Sometimes people don’t complain even when some domestic animals are killed, but when calves are fed by leopards, it becomes an emotional issue because they are young animals and their owners have an emotional bond with them. As soon as the complaint was received, action was taken and the leopard was captured safely,” Dobriyal said.