Reports of leopard sighting by villagers prompts forest officials to conduct a combing operation on May 2.
Following reports of leopard sighting by villagers of Mandawar (village in Sohna of Gurgaon district), a team of forest officials conducted a combing operation in the area on May 2.
MD Sinha, conservator of forest, South Haryana, told City Spidey, “A five-member team rushed to the spot immediately after we got a call from the villagers regarding sighting of a leopard. The combing operation was carried out for two hours, but nothing was found. The area is a dense forest and has a big water body called Damdama Lake where wild animals tend to come in search of water.”
The area also had camera traps, which the officials would check to verify the claims. Forest officials also mentioned that the area was close to Aravalli forest and sighting of wildlife was not unusual. Officials said that as there were a number of villages close to the forest, it was not possible to opt for fencing.
The forest department plans to conduct an awareness campaign for villagers soon. It would inform them about the dos and don’ts when they spot a wild animal in their area.
“Wild animals do not enter human territory to attack but in search of water. They come out of their natural habitat as they are unable to cope up with the disturbances because of mining and scarcity of water during summers,” said Sinha. He added that the best option to avoid any untoward incident was to sensitize the villagers about wildlife in the region and formulate a plan for co-existence.
However, villagers said that since the last incident, they have not been able to return to their normal life. Bhan Singh, a resident of Mandawar, said, “We have informed the forest officials that our animals are missing and we suspect that it is because of the presence of a leopard.”
A two-and-a-half-year-old leopard was killed in November, 2016, in the village in the presence of wildlife and police officials.