Trapping leopards no solution to control their straying, says CCF

Trapping leopards no solution to control their straying, says CCF

Trapping leopards no solution to control their straying, says CCF

Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) P B Karunakar, on Thursday, said that trapping of leopards is not the only solution to control the big cats from entering human habitats.

The CCF was addressing a gathering during a session on 'Leopard-Man Conflict, Control, Management', organised by the Forest Department and Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK), at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (Mysuru Zoo), here. He said that the state has the second largest leopard population after Madhya Pradesh.

The state has, on an average, 1,125 leopards. Mysuru district alone has 40 to 50 big cats and there might be four-five animals atop the Chamundi Hill, according to him.

He said that Karnataka has a huge area of reserve forest, compared to other states, and no people, victims of leopard attacks, have demanded the department to kill the big cats, which enter human habitats. It shows the people's concern for the animals.

According to the CCF, 50 leopards have been trapped in Mysuru Forest Circle alone, in the last three years.

CCF Manoj Kumar said that every government department has the responsibility in controlling man-animal conflict and the sighting of leopards has increased due to people's movement during late nights.

The official said that Tumakuru district administration has constituted a committee, which comprises representatives from other departments and civic bodies. After the committee came into existence, the conflict between man and animals has drastically declined. The constitution of such committee in all districts would result in a decline in man-animal conflict, he said.

The Forest department lacks basic infrastructure and the government is striving to manage the department. He urged other department officials to join hands with the Forest officials.

He said that the leopard population is high in Mysuru than thought, but, the people are not aware of them. As the people roam during late nights, the big cats, which move during nights, are sighted by the people, he said.

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