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Wildlife department rescues wild bear in Kashmir's Kupwara

India Today logo India Today 24-07-2021 Rouf A Roshangar
a brown bear is looking at the camera

The Department of Wildlife Protection Force, with the assistance of locals and security forces, captured a wild balck bear alive on Saturday in Zurhama area of Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district.

The bear, agitated by stone-throwing, had injured four people in Zurhama Kupwara.

Surge in instances of man-animal conflict across Kashmir

Asked about the rise in human-wildlife conflict, Chief Wildlife Warden Kashmir Rashid Naqash said, "This year, seven deaths and 32 injury cases have been reported, compared to five deaths and 87 injury cases the previous year."

"The Department of Wildlife Protection is taking all measures to resolve and mitigate conflict situations whenever and wherever they are reported. However, the department's biggest challenge is striking a balance between no harm to human life, property, or safety, as well as the welfare of conflict animals," he said.

Read | Almost 5 lakh animals became victims of crimes in last 10 years in India

Recent spate of leopard attacks in Jammu and Kashmir

Aadha Yasir Mir, a four-year-old girl from Housing Colony, Ompora, Budgam district, was killed by a leopard on June 4 of this year.

In another recent incident, a leopard dragged away and killed a minor girl in the Zazuna area of Ganderbal district earlier this year.

On July 11, a leopard pounced on Maria Shabir Bhat, a six-year-old girl, and whisked her away from her car near Zazuna fruit mandi. The girl was found in a field, around a kilometre from where she was taken by the leopard. The child later succumbed to her injuries.

How to avoid man-animal conflict?

"The Department of Wildlife, in collaboration with the Forest Department and the Forest Protection Force, is constantly visiting vulnerable areas to ensure that all possible measures are taken and that such incidents do not recur," said Rashid Naqash.

The Department of Wildlife issues 'dos and don'ts' on a regular basis through various media platforms to educate the public on how to avoid man-animal conflicts.

Read | J&K: Villagers kill leopard, peel off skin after it attacks seven locals

"The wildlife department has established permanent and temporary camps in various vulnerable areas, as well as 25 wildlife rescue control rooms, camera traps, drone surveys, and intensive awareness campaigns about 'dos and don'ts' to be observed in order to avoid man-wild animal conflict incidents," Rashid Naqash said.

According to data from the Department of Wildlife Protection Kashmir region, between 2006 and March 2021, 224 human fatalities and 2,829 injuries were reported in such incidents.

The Department of Wildlife Protection pays Rs 3 lakh as compensation to relatives of those killed in such incidents, Rs 1 lakh to those who suffer major injuries, and Rs 15,000 thousand to those who suffer minor injuries.

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