Udaipur : Unlike tigers that prefer forest areas free from human and cattle populations, leopards have adapted to human dominated landscapes and perhaps this is the very reason for the frequent occurring incidents of leopard mauling human or the wild cat getting killed by a mob. In an effort to reduce the man-animal conflict in Rajsamand forest area and adjoining human settlements, the forest department has embarked on an action plan focusing on to create peaceful coexistence environment for both the species.
According to the figures some 36 leopards have fallen prey to road accidents while 10 were killed due to human attacks in the area in past 11 years. The Rajsamand forest area having large leopard population witnesses on an average a conflict between the four and two legged creatures every alternate month. According to experts leopards are arboreal ans climb trees to hide and rest. Many leopards are killed across the country annually as they are increasingly found outside protected forest areas in agricultural and revenue lands around human settlements. The forest department would take up regular awareness programmes in the villages where confidence building measures and avoidance behaviour guidelines like ‘make noise and use flashlight while walking in dark’ would be explained.
“Our team and volunteers would be meeting people and hold awareness programs to sensitize villagers on developing a patient and friendly attitude towards the wild creatures. They would be taught to be prepared when suddenly faced by any wild creature including the big cat” a senior official said. The department would also take help of technology like monitoring the leopard habitated areas with the help of CCTVs to keep a watch on the animals movement into human settlements.