An adult leopard has been brought to the Manda rescue centre in Jammu after injuring three people in the city
A full-grown adult leopard is being kept at the Manda rescue centre in Jammu city after it was captured from an upmarket neighbourhood April 6, 2021, wildlife officials said.
The wildlife department got a call about a leopard having strayed into the Green Belt Park of Jammu city’s Gandhi Nagar locality at about 11.30 am in the morning, Anil Kumar Attri, the wildlife warden of Jammu division told Down To Earth (DTE) over the phone.
“We captured it by 2 pm. It has been brought to the Manda rescue centre. Three persons have been injured including two wildlife team members. Jammu city is surrounded by forests. It might have come from there. It will be released in a secure forest area soon,” Attri added.
Raja Jambulochan’s city
Jammu city is indeed ringed by forests. To the north of the city lies the Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary. Across the Tawi river, lies the Bahu Conservation area, also a protected area.
“These forests are full of wildlife. The leopard is the top carnivore here,” Suresh Gupta, the chief wildlife warden of Jammu and Kashmir told DTE.
The leopard that was caught April 6 could have been searching for a territory after having been displaced by the victor of a territorial fight, he added.
Gupta said the presence of the leopard in the city should not be a cause of concern. “Most cities in Jammu and Kashmir are surrounded by forests. Owing to increasing anthropogenic pressures, such incidents have become commonplace not only in Jammu and Srinagar but also in other cities of the country,” Gupta said.
“These animals have been here and they will continue to be here. There are laws for their protection and conservation,” he said.
He added that Jammu city had been founded at a forested site. According to legend, Jammu’s founder, King Jambulochan established the city at a spot on the banks of the Tawi where he saw a lion (in other versions a tiger or a leopard) and a goat drinking water together.
Vidya Athreya, prominent leopard expert, echoed Gupta’s views about peaceful co-existence of humans and wildlife.
“Leopards, bears and wolves often stray into human habitations in the Jammu region and Kashmir Valley. It only shows that we have a large population of wildlife living outside protected areas in the Union territory like in other parts of the country. We only have to learn to be responsive during situations like these,” Athreya told DTE.
In this case, the department had responded appropriately and had managed to rescue the leopard in time, she added. This was appropriate behaviour on its part.
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