Leopard sighting in densely populated Srinagar area triggers panic


Srinagar, June 13 : Panic gripped the densely populated Natipora area in Srinagar on Sunday after a leopard was sighted. Two weeks ago, a minor girl was mauled by a leopard in the Humhama area after which the animal was declared as a man-eater and professional hunters were employed to eliminate it. A team of the wildlife department was deputed to Natipora area earlier in the day to locate the animal and catch it before it caused any casualty. "The animal was spotted around 10 p.m. yesterday and we informed the local police station immediately," a resident of the area said. People have been advised not to move out unnecessarily till the animal is caught and restored to its natural habitat. Locals are making announcements about the presence of the leopard through mosque loudspeakers. Kashmir wildlife warden, Rashid Naqash told IANS: "Our teams are on the ground in the area. We are trying to establish the presence of the animal in the area through direct or indirect evidence. "So far, we have not been able to establish the presence of the animal in the area." The wildlife warden, however, said that "since areas like Natipora, Humhama, Chanapora, Sant Nagar are located within less than 10 km from theSrinagar International Airport, which is situated on a Karewa with many vegetal belts in between, there always remains a possibility of the leopards straying into these areas". /IANS


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