Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Leopards kill 12 in Junagadh, injure 48 in one year

Leopards kill 12 in Junagadh, injure 48 in one year
Times of India

A dozen people were killed and 48 were injured in leopard attacks in Junagadh district in the last one year.

Forest and environment minister Ganpat Vasava in a written reply to a query from Una MLA Punja Vansh said these figures are till December 31, 2012. He informed the state assembly that for the 12 dead, a compensation of Rs 18 lakh has been paid to the relatives and Rs 97,500 has been disbursed as compensation to the 48 injured persons.

Expressing concern over the instances of leopard attacks, the minister said a rescue team has been formed to attend to the victims whenever an attack takes place. He further said an awareness campaign has been launched in areas where the leopard attacks are more.

Forest officials said the majority of attacks are in Una taluka. They said that during the census conducted last year, it came to light that leopards and their cubs have started inhabiting the fields. Sugarcane fields are important hideouts for leopards as the plants are tall. These fields are also a breeding ground for the wild cats that are shy by nature.

An official said the fields in Una, Talala and Kodinar in Saurashtra along with those in south Gujarat and Vadodara have a good population of leopards. He said these animals keep moving between the forest area and the fields.

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