Udaipur : Shocked by the recent Kachhabali incident where a leopard cub was mercilessly strangulated to death by villagers and similar ones that has taken place in a year in the region, wild life activists and volunteers have joined hands to save the big cats from human attacks. “ Human-Leopard conflicts have become common in South Rajasthan . “Protect Panther”, the project aims to create awareness and compassion among the rural folk for the wild life specially leopards. “ More than 40 leopards have lost their lives either in road accidents or hunger or by peoples attack in the region in a year.
Habitat loss is reducing their ability to find prey and suitable resting and denning sites. They stray into human settlements in search of food and water and fall prey to men” said PadamSingh Rathore of Wild and Street Animal Rescue Society, an NGO. “ Under the mission we will conduct workshops, awareness camps at villages specially those situated in forest area to sensitize people on the importance of wild life protection and the legal aspects” Rathore said. The major challenge is in convincing people for the need to co-exist with leopards with maximum tolerance and less fear. Educational and awareness campaigns will help and strengthen rapport with the target audience.
It will ensure the forest department and tribal’s or local people to have a common platform where they can address their problems with regards to human-leopard conflicts. Volunteers would hold interactive sessions specially with school children and youth to make them the ambassadors of the mission in their respective areas. “ We will also appoint informers in villages who would report whenever leopards are sighted in the area so that timely help could be sought so as to prevent a conflict” Jyoti Acharya, an activist said. The mission is aimed to increase awareness among people on leopard behavior. People will be taught on how to avoid leopard attack and what to do in case of leopards sightings.