Leopard death in Titlagarh stokes concerns over wildlife safety

Titlagarh: A day after a leopard was found dead after being caught in a trap in the core area of Kalakuta forest under Badmal Range in Titlagarh, concerns are being raised over the safety of wild animals.

Despite being a prohibited area, questions being raised on how poachers managed to kill the leopard. Locals are of the opinion that as the forest cover is depleting; wild animals are straying into human settlements. Moreover they alleged that the Forest department has failed to prevent animals from straying into human habitation.

“As forests are being destroyed, animals are venturing into human habitation. But the Forest department should take proper measures to stop this,” said Shankar Sahu, a resident of Shagadaghat.

Toeing similar lines Jairam Hati, a resident of Shuagapur said as forests are eroding fast, the population of wild animals is also dwindling. The Forest department should have taken prompt action to stop such killings of wild animals, he added.

Bolangir DFO Sameer Satpathy said usually people react violently when wild animals stray closer to human habitation.

In 2013, locals allegedly thrashed a panther to death at Piprut village under Saintala block of the district and the claws of the panther were missing from the carcass. Similarly, in April 2018, a bear which had strayed into a village in Titlagarh was beaten to death.