A leopard, suspected to be a “man-eater”, was captured by the wildlife authorities in Srinagar on Wednesday.
The leopard was later shifted to the rehabilitation centre of Dachigam National Park.
An official informed that the leopard had picked and killed a four-year-old girl from the lawn of her house at Ompora of Budgam district, eleven days ago.
Locals of the valley, especially from the Khrew village of central Kashmir and district Budgam were feeling unsafe ever since the incident.
Informing of previously reported incidents of leopard presence at the nursery, Dr Umer Nazir, the Veterinarian of the wildlife department said, “We have set camps at the nursery earlier too, but after this very sad incident, we mobilized our entire man force and machinery and set up a 24×7 camp”.
“We identified the leopard trails after scientific analysis, and using these trails, we placed cages and cameras at strategic places,” he added.
Informing of their success at capturing the leopard alive, Nazir said, “We worked on all aspects, and have successfully trapped the leopard today”.
Adding to the same, Bashir Ahmad a member of the rescue team said, “We have been on foot ever since the sad incident. With all our strenuous efforts, we have finally caught the suspected man-eater leopard”.
Ahmad further added that the Forest authority’s initial efforts were to catch the leopard alive, but if things would have gone wrong, they would have had to eliminate the leopard.
Lauding the efforts of the field staff, Altaf Hussian, Wildlife Warden said, “Our field staff did a commendable job, along with casual labour. It is their role that we should all appreciate. They sit 24×7 for weeks together to rescue these animals”.
He also informed that besides the suspected man-eater leopard, rescue operation teams also captured three more leopards within one week from the Khrew area of central Kashmir.
The locals of the area finally sighed in relief and thanked the wildlife authorities for capturing the leopards in a short time period of eleven days.