Roaming leopards scare villagers in Kamareddy, Nizamabad districts

Fear grips people as leopard with cubs roams about in fields
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Fear grips people as leopard with cubs roams about in fields

Highlights

  • Farmers are afraid to go to the fields as leopards roam freely and carry out a series of attacks
  • The leopards mainly attack animals in villages

Nizamabad: People in the villages of Nizamabad and Kamareddy districts are scared to step of their homes as they see leopards roam freely in the populated areas, causing panic among the people.

Last year, a leopard had terrorised students in the vicinity of the Telangana University hostel in Dichpally in Nizamabad district. Now leopards are making people sleepless in the forest villages of Kamareddy district. Recently, leopards had made frequent attacks on livestock within the Ellareddy division. In addition to cattle, a leopard also attacked a man in Ellareddy mandal and seriously injured him.

"If we take our cattle, goats and sheep to pastures for grazing, leopards are attacking them. Farmers are worried that cheetahs are attacking and killing sleeping cattle in the vicinity of their homes at night. They also retaliate against humans if they try to drive away a leopard that has come to attack the cattle," said a villager.

Attempts to protect the livestock have failed and people are living in fear. CCTV cameras were set up to detect the movements of the leopards. The leopard continues to thwart attempts by forest officials. They set up cages and capture leopards in forest areas but it did not yield results.

There have been a number of incidents of leopard attack in Kamareddy district in recent times. One sheep was killed and another was injured when a leopard attacked a flock of sheep and goats in Somerpet village in Ellareddy mandal. The big cat attacked and killed goats in the forest area near the village. Similarly, in Hajipur village, a leopard attacked and killed a herd of buffaloes and a flock of goats.

The leopard also attacked animals in Kalyani village. It attacked goats in Vellutla village. The leopard killed a farmer's dog in Azamabad village.It also attacked a herd of goats at Banjaratanda in Nagireddypeta mandal and killed two goats.

A leopard attacked goats in Lingampeta mandal and killed three goats. Recently a cow was attacked in Bonaltanda. Apart from these, last year, locals spotted a leopard roaming in the suburbs of Tippapur and Burgul in Gandhari mandal. It attacked a flock of sheep at Tukkojiwadi in Sadashivanagar mandal and killed two sheep.

Despite a series of attacks by leopards in the district, people are outraged that forest officials are ignoring them. Farmers have lost about 835 animals in the last two years in a series of leopard attacks. Farmers are angry that the Forest department is not making adequate arrangements to capture the leopards. Farmers are afraid to go to the farms as leopards roam in many places and carry out a series of attacks. Farmers are living with uncertainty.

The leopard used to attack only cattle in the past. Mallesh, a sheep owner in Somerpet village in Ellareddy Mandal, was attacked by a leopard last year and seriously injured. The people of the villages near the forest are worried about the leopards roaming and attacking in a series of incidents within the Ellareddy division.The district has dense forests in Ellareddy, Lingampeta, Nagireddypeta, Gandhari, Sadashivanagar, Ramareddy, Machareddy, Rajampeta, Thadwai and other mandals. Banswada, Bichkunda, Jukkal and Madnur mandals are sparsely forested. Overcrowding has increased in areas with dense forests. Cheetahs roam mainly in Ellareddy, Nagireddypeta, Lingampeta and Sadashivanagar areas under Ellareddy division. There are a total of 22 leopards across the district. Many villages adjoining these forest areas are home to herds. With the emergence of new herds and villages, the population increased in the forests.

Vehicular traffic has also increased. Authorities believe the leopards are keen to stay in the area. Similarly, due to lack of food and water in the forest areas, leopards seem to be coming across the forest to populated areas for water and food. In a similar vein they are committing attacks on local cattle. Forest officials believe that cows, calves and goat herds are being attacked and hunted for food in the villages surrounding the forest.

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