Incidents of human-wildlife conflict keep on occurring. In such incidents the wild animals reach residential areas and attack a person there. In spring, summer and autumn the incidents also occur in fields and orchards, where the farmers work.
Those attacked get injured and some of them also lose their lives. Several children were killed particularly in north Kashmir during last three years in such incidents. A few days back one person was attacked and injured by a leopard at Hajin in Bandipora district.
A team of wildlife protection department reached the area and captured the leopard. Capturing a leopard after it is spotted at a place is always a challenging task for the officials of the department, which is already understaffed and not fully equipped to that extent.
Sometimes they are able to capture the animal and sometimes not despite camping at places for days together. When a leopard enters a residential areas, it quickly moves to neighbouring areas also, thus creating lot of panic among the people. Subsequently, the normal activities in such areas get affected due to the fear of attack by the wild animal.
The attacks can be minimised if the people follow the advisory being issued by the department of wildlife protection in such situations. Besides following the advisory, there is a need to minimise the human intervention into wildlife habitats.
The requirement for more space amid growing human population and infrastructure development leads the human to move towards forests and disturb the wildlife in their habitats. The construction of structures or roads in forests does affect the wildlife.
The wild animals come out from there and move towards human habitats leading to conflict. Less intervention into wildlife habitats will lead to less conflict. In winter when snowfall occurs, the wild animals move towards residential areas in search of food.
Dogs are an easy prey for leopards. Since the population of stray dogs is increasing in the residential areas, the leopards attack them there also.
There is a need to reduce population of stray dogs. The human- wildlife conflict can be minimised by taking steps at various levels. If the steps are not taken, incidents will continue to occur. There will be more injuries and more loss of lives.