Forest department demands enclosure for leopards
The Times of India
Frequent cases of leopard attacks on human in districts of Gir Somnath, Junagadh and Amreli has forced the forest department to demand a separate enclosure for the wild cats. Since April this year, as many as seven cases of leopards have been reported from various districts of Gir where two persons have lost their lives. During the year 2017-18 there were 44 leopard attack cases in Gir region, while in the previous year (2016-17) 64 cases were reported.
With number of villagers complaining of living under the fear of leopard attacks, the forest department forwarded a proposal to state government to create a leopard enclosure near Amrapar animal care Centre in Maliya taluka of Junagadh district.
Chief conservator of forest Junagadh circle S K Mehta said, "Generally old or sick leopards attack humans. They target children as it is easy prey. We have forwarded a proposal to create an enclosure for such old and sick leopards who have tasted human blood. The enclosure will be like open cage where the leopards will be kept for life time."
This enclosure will be fenced where male and female leopards will be kept separate. The animals will be fed like those in zoos. Tourists also visit the place as it is near Devaliya Safari Park. Currently there is a animal care centre here where sick and injured animals are treated.
Member of wildlife board Priyavrat Gadhvi said, "We need to create an enclosure in forest to handle captured leopards. Currently we capture leopard that attack humans and release them because we don't have capacity to keep them. It is seen that leopard is a repeat offender and has the worst record of human-animal conflict not only in Gujarat, but across India."