Cages installed to nab the prowlers
HAMIRPUR : Following loss of their prey due to the constant threat posed by poachers( unlicensed shooters), who kill the wild animals for their delicious meat, the big cats are on prowl in various parts of the Hamirpur district as a result, the people are in panic. The prowlers have taken as many as five lives besides injuring about one hundred human-beings in the district during last one decade.
The situation has taken such an alarming trend that the people have stopped venturing out after sun set. They don’t send their wards to schools all alone. They send their wards to schools either in groups of the parents accompany the children to schools so as to save their wards from the wrath of man eaters.
In latest incidents in Bhoraj and Nadaun areas of the district, two persons were injured when prowlers attacked them from behind at Bhadthu and Sadh villages of the district. Both injured Karam Chand and Kailash Giri have been admitted to Bhoranj and Nadaun hospitals of the district for treatment.
Hamirpur Divisional Forest Officer, Sanjay Sood says that the department is seized of the situation created by the prowlers. He said that the department had set up cages at Darbyar, Gabha, Jol, Badehar, Nahlwin and Nagrota, Bhira and Jhaniari villages of the district to nab the culprits. However, no prowler has been caught in these cages so for. According to him, the prowlers are active in Bhareri area of the district and one female leopard was furious due to missing of her child.
Sood said that as per census conducted in year 2004, the number of leopards was thirty. However, it was 79 in year 1993. He says that the number of leopards at present is about fifty.
He said that during last one decade, forty-four leopards had been killed or found dead in various forests of the district. He said that lack of pasture was the main reason behind the influx of the leopard.
Reports from various parts of the Bhoranj and Toundevi blocks of the district reveal that the people living there don’t venture out after sunset as they anticipate attacks from the leopards. People allege that leopards venture in the urban areas too and take way with them whatever is found. One of them, Ram Singh of Badehar said that they don’t send their wards to school all alone. Some one from the family accompanies the children to schools as all are feared by the attacks from the prowlers. At other places, children go in groups to their schools for studies.
It is worth mentioning here that first leopard was sighted in the early nineties when a school boy was mauled by a leopard near Sujanpur tira town of the district. Since then, the attacks of the leopards have increased including their strength.
Similarly, leopards have also killed 1,317 animals during last one decade besides injuring about two thousand more. The department has sanctioned compensation worth twelve lakh rupees in case of the death of the animals. It has demanded from the state government to sanction a sum of three lakh rupees more in shape of compensation to the rest of the people who could not get it for want of funds.
Suinder Kumar Guleria, DFO (Wildlife) told this reporter that the department was providing training to its staff to rein the prowlers under its control in case of eventuality. He said that the training for the use of tranquilizers was also being given to the staff so that these were used in time.