Videos of a leopard acting unusually friendly with people on a hilly road has taken social media by storm. The videos, reportedly shot in Himachal Pradesh, have raised concerns over shrinking habitats of wild animals.
Seen among many tourist vehicles, the wildcat is walking past the cars and interacting with humans in very close proximity. The viral video shows people present at the site filming the rare sight on their mobile phones.
As the clips started to circulate widely online, news agency ANI said the unbelievable incident happened on Banjar-Kullu Road in Tirthan Valley in state’s Kullu district.
The usual behaviour of the animals worried many animal lovers and wildlife experts who wondered what led the animal to be so comfortable around humans. While some thought may be it was domesticated, others opined may be it was injured or tranquillised.
Former Additional Chief Secy in HP, IAS officer Sanjeev Gupta too shared the clip online, and said that a recent forest fire in the area have displaced the animal and it’s not domesticated.
Slamming the behaviour of the public filming the wild animal, he further claimed that humans encroaching natural habitat of wild animals in such an extend is a serious problem and measures must be taken.
As people were not threatened by the young leopard and they started to hang out with it so nearby, many slammed the actions of the crowd filming it.
Himachal Pradesh frequently witnesses forest fires during dry weather conditions. This month, a forest fire which started near Kullu raged for several days before being brought under control. Forest fires were also reported in Shimla and other parts of the state. ( Indian Express )