By Mudasir Ahmad
Leopard terror is more dreadful that canine terror. Leopards are nowadays on the prowl in many districts and are frequently being spotted in apple orchards or in the meadows and residential areas alike.. The two horrible incidents recently occurred in two districts ( Budgam & Ganderbal) that have caused panic among the people and also made us realize that the children are too prone to the attacks by such wild beasts. All wild animals which live in natural habitats have beastly behavior that is quite different from those animals which we rear as pets. Human and wild life conflict is not a new concept in the field of wild life conservation and management but it has a long history back that makes us quite understand the factors responsible that drive these wild beasts to the residential areas. Humans have greedily nature for the utilization of natural resources particularly forests; which nature has endowed us with without charging us even a single penny for it but we don’t value such valuable gifts. Instead we utilize them rampantly. We have destroyed the natural habitats of these creatures to fulfill our demands which ultimately force these wild animals to change their habitats to come down into the villages looking for food and shelter.
The forest areas are now declining very fast in Jammu and Kashmir due to two main crucial factors like as; cutting down of trees and constructing houses in the eco- sensitive areas. Such wild conflicts will continue to occur in the residential areas till humans do not understand the causes and consequences of this confrontation. Human loss is a big loss when such uneven calamities fall, it shatters one and all. We get astounded on knowing how come these animals take shelter inside abandoned residential areas; however this has already been going for a while because these animals have lost their permanent natural habitats owing to the direct human interventions and forest smugglers that ultimately have caused the ecological imbalance and wild conflicts therewith.
In J &K, the wildlife department is not creating any such new technical innovations besides machinery to trap all these wild animals easily inside residential areas without putting much effort. It often happens that the department concerned does not usually heed on getting informed about the movement of such animals until something bad happens. I openly assert that the wildlife department is not showing much concern pertaining to rising incidents due to these wild animals. Lace your shoes tightly and hold them firmly on the ground against this wild fight and capture wandering beasts before they could take any one’s life.
The recent incident occurred in the valley of Budgam. A 4yr old girl Ada Yasir Mir fell prey to a leopard who was from Budgam Ompora village while playing in the compound. The leopard took her in the forest area but it was only three days after of a search operation that she was found dead.
This week only, an incident took place incident in zazuna village of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal when a 3yr old girl Mahiya Shabir was mauled to death by a leopard. The incident instantly surfaced via social news service that a girl was taken away by a leopard while she was accompanied by her grandmother. Both were in a car which was parked at one side of the orchard. It was said that her parents were irrigating the apple orchard; meanwhile a scream suddenly pitched so high like a cloud burst occurred. They ran hurriedly towards the car in which they did not find their daughter inside.
Soon after, parents started wailing and people came out of their houses to search out the minor. It was after hours of searching that the girl was recovered in critical conditions from the dense forests and taken to sumbal hospital. Before reaching the hospital she breathed her last; Inna lillahi wa inallah –e- rajioon. Her sudden death shocked the whole village. May Alalh give sabre jameel to her family and relatives to bear this irreparable loss.
These things may continue to happen until and unless we try to comprehend the underlying facts of this confrontation. I leave it open to those who want to debate on this issue for the common good of all.
Some of the characteristics of the Leopard are:-
It pounces on humans without giving any much time to escape.
It frowns terrifyingly while attacking humans.
It never scares of the crowd as other animals do.
It attacks in seconds and escapes in microseconds.
It has flexible jaws with long pointed two canine teeth in upper and lower jaws that helps kill a prey immediately and take away the injured body.
It runs 58kms/hr.
It is deadlier than other carnivores.
Children are prone to this wild beast as it takes away them easily.
It hides in bushes and sits on the trees for watching out the movement of prey.
Its paws are strongly powerful that helps in holding the prey.
Necessary precautions to save yourself and your children
Don’t go alone in the garden for cutting grass and other chores.
Never stay in the garden for longer hours.
Don’t stay long hours at nearby hilly areas that are susceptible to wild beasts.
Don’t allow your children to play outside till late evening.
Never forget to Close your gate & windows before going to sleep
Keep vigil at night at least for one hour for the movement of leopards in your village.
The Author is M.Sc from Kashmir University