The incident of a leopard being trapped by the Wildlife Department on Friday was not the first such incident. Wild animals are being regularly spotted in urban areas,wildlife experts say. In November,other leopards were seen in village Kadian and in Mattewara as well,but they could not be trapped despite the best efforts of the department.
Leopards have also been trapped from the Hoshairpur,Garshanker,Zirakpur and Sangrur areas in the past four months. Besides this,wild boars have also been seen in urban areas regularly.
The experts say that depleting forest cover is the reason for the wild animals being spotted in urban areas. They say that because of reduced forest cover,animals are moving to areas where they can find food and water. The leopard in Kadian had earlier injured a person.
The leopard which were captured from Garshanker,Hoshiarpur,Zirakpur and Sangrur areas,were sent to Chatbir Zoo. The leopard trapped on Friday night from Sanghowal has also been sent to Chatbir Zoo,confirmed the team of experts who had come from the zoo.
However,animal welfare organisations have stated that the captured animals should have been released in the jungles.
Dr Sandeep Jain,a member of the Animal Welfare Board of India,said,Leopards never attack humans,unless the animals have been hit or are in shock. The leopard,in fact,is a shy animal,and dogs are its main prey. People at large must be educated about the behaviour of this animal instead of being made to fear it.
Jain added that a mere sighting of a leopard or an attack by it on provocation is not a reason to trap it. It will not become captive and will injure itself,biting the cage and grills etc to get free. Such animals must be released in the forest after they regain their consciousness, he said.
Wildlife dept caught unawares
The Wildlife Department and the local administration seemed unprepared on Friday at Sangowal. No ambulance had been called at the site as a precautionary measure even though the officials knew that a person had been injured in the morning. When wildlife guard Narinder Singh was injured,he was rushed in a police vehicle and only later was an ambulance called.