Learn to coexist, say foresters as leopard goes undetected

Learn to coexist, say foresters as leopard goes undetected
Representational Picture

New Delhi: While the presence of a leopard at North Delhi could not be confirmed, animal experts and the forest department on Thursday suggested that people learn to co-exist with the feline.

The year 2018 has not been good for the Indian leopards. Till now, 176 leopards have been confirmed dead across 13 states. Of these, over 62 are confirmed cases of poaching.

On Tuesday, a leopard was spotted by some people around the Kendriya Vidhyalaya at Narela.

However, Delhi Forest Department and animal welfare organisation Wildlife SOS — which have not confirmed the leopard’s presence — said even if found, the feline’s relocation was not a feasible solution, and that people will have to learn to live with the presence of wildlife.

“Capture of the leopard must be avoided at any cost and people must learn to coexist with the big cat like lakhs of people in Mumbai living around Borivali do on a daily basis,” said a statement by Wildlife SOS.

According to the leopard experts, a territorial cat like the leopard must not be translocated as it is known to return to its original habitat even if it’s hundreds of kilometres away.

“We have not spotted the leopard so far, or found any trace of its presence. We are continuing the patrolling and will plan the future course accordingly,” Delhi’s wildlife inspector V.B Dasan told IANS.

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO Wildlife SOS, told IANS: “We should be delighted that Delhi is still so rich in its biodiversity that a leopard can exist here.”