Going after injured leopard without tranquilizer-guns, firearms proves blunder for Himachal’s forest team
A team of forest officials in district Una of hill state, Himachal Pradesh, was attacked by an leopard in which the Range Official of the forest division had almost died and five others were injured. Reportedly, the team arrived at the spot in a village after some locals informed the department about sighting of an injured leopard on roadside. Shockingly, the team had no tranquilizer-gun or firearm for defense. The leopard perceived threat as villagers begun to gather around him and escaped to hide in nearby bushes. The team followed it during which the leopard attacked the RO. Leopard kept the head of the Range Officer crushed between his jaws for over 10 minutes. Sadly, the leopard was beaten to death in order to rescue the officer.The news appeared in a regional online mag that also posted some photographs clicked on the spot.
Man-Leopard Conflict in Himachal Pradesh- Take a Look:
The media reports in the region suggest that the government has not provided the department and forest guards with most basic equipment. The Una division had only one tranquilizer-gun, which was not working and was sent for servicing, said higher official. Surprisingly, the team foolishly went after the cat that was injured and was already threatened due to growing crowd of villagers.
The official is in critical conditions, battling for his life in district hospital of Una. Not only the team was put in danger, but the leopard had to be killed by brutal means due to lack of apt equipment used in capturing such deadly animals. This clearly shows failure of the State government to deal with animal-rescue situations.
Reportedly, the hill state has a dense population of leopards and man-animal conflict has been in news since past decade. Several leopards were shot dead by local hunters as the forest department expresses its helplessness and lack of staff and equipment.
Corruption in India has numerous ugly faces and variety of side-effects. However, matters like not providing tranquilizer-guns and defensive firearms to wildlife wing of the forest department seems to have better highlight the aforesaid statement and the apathy of the government.