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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

As concrete jungles shrink forests, homeless leopards turn to colonies

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As concrete jungles shrink forests, homeless leopards turn to colonies

<br>The incidents of wild animals like leopards and fishing cats, wandering into residential areas have been recorded in several places, including Greater Noida and Mumbai.

Incidents of leopard attacks have seen a rise in Aarey Colony, situated in Mumbai’s Goregaon.

One such incident occurred in November, 2022, where a woman named Sarita Gaurav, a resident of Adarsh Nagar in Aarey Milk colony, was attacked by a leopard while she was crossing a road, which left her seriously injured.

Incidents like these act as evidence of the fact that the forests have reduced considerably.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Mann Ki Baat programme praised Ramveer Tanwar, who has been beautifying and reviving ponds since the last 6 years.

Known as the Pond Man of India, Tanwar has so far revived around 40 ponds in several places, including Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur, Palwal, Manesar, Delhi and Haryana.

Tanwar quit his job as a mechanical engineer in 2018 and started focusing completely on the beautification work.

In a conversation with Ajit Weekly News, Tanwar said that leopards generally stray into residential areas in search of food, due to the reduction of forest areas.

He said that tourists go deep inside the forests and reserves, and interfere with the wildlife by playing loud music and carrying lighting equipment, which scares the animals who come towards the cities due to fear.

Tanwar said that lack of food was one of the biggest reasons for the wildlife to enter residential areas.

He apprised that many a times, the animals wander towards the cities at night by crossing the highway, and are alarmed by heavy traffic when they try to go back to the forests in the morning.

He said that these animals are dangerous as they cannot differentiate between sheep, goats and humans and come to colonies solely for food.

He appealed to the people to keep themselves safe, and scare the leopards away by making loud noises, instead of hurting them as their population has already been decreasing.

Divisional Forest officer Pramod Kumar Shrivastava, Gautam Buddha Nagar, said that wild animals wandered into human settlements in search of food, including goats and dogs.

He said that the animals, if caught, are released back into the wild later.

The residents of Ajnara Le Society in Greater Noida West have been living in constant dread since a leopard was sighted in an under-construction site in the society, on January 3.

They have been holding protests against the builder and the forest department and consider the department responsible for the big cat not being trapped.

Nisha Singh, a resident of the society, said that she, along with her children has been imprisoned in their home and that she fears for her husband’s safety whenever he leaves home for office.

Doorstep delivery of essentials is being denied to the residents which has increased their problems.

She blamed the builder and said that the leopard could not have entered the society, had the boundary walls been tall enough.

–Ajit Weekly News<br>pkt/fs/bg

News Credits – I A N S

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