*4 cages, teams in place to capture wild cats
JAMMU, Apr 7: Fear has gripped the residents living along forest area in Bagh-e-Bahu as a leopards continue to roam around freely.
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However, Wildlife Department has kept cages in forest area after sighting of leopards by the locals in a residential locality. Moreover, two teams of the Wildlife Department have been deputed to capture the wild cats.
From around a fortnight, the locals claimed that they are scared of leopards roaming around and they are not in a position to go out of their houses after 7 pm.
One of the residents, Chain Singh while talking to the EXCELSIOR said that her daughter saw the leopard yesterday when she tried to open the main gate of the house.
“We have confined ourselves to the four walls of our homes and our children are scared. Administration is taking no action to capture the leopards”, he alleged.
Another resident Sagar said that the leopards enter their locality during night compelling the residents to restrict their movements. “Earlier we use to sleep under open sky, but for the past around two weeks, we have confined ourselves to the four walls of our homes as leopards are moving in the area”, he added.
Another resident said that leopards live in the nearby forest and come out during nights and this has frightened them. He appealed to the administration and Wildlife Department to take immediate steps to capture the leopards. He also demanded fencing of the forest area so that people have some sigh of relief.
“We asked the Wildlife Department to use drones to track the leopard, but no action has been taken in this regard. Immediate steps should be taken to capture the leopards”, a lady resident said.
Wildlife Warden Jammu Anil Kumar Atri while talking to the EXCELSIOR confirmed the presence of the leopards in the area.
“One more cage has been installed to capture the leopards. Three cages are already at the spot where people told us about the presence of the leopards”, he said, adding that two teams of the department along with officials of Forest Department are regularly patrolling the area to capture the wild cats.
Regarding protection of the residents, Wildlife Warden said that he has taken up the matter of fencing the forest area with Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Jammu. He advised the people to fence their lands with brushwood to prevent leopards’ entry into their residential areas.