You know what the Northern State of Uttarakhand topping charts for, the highest mortality rate of leopards in the country. This news has not only shattered the hearts of wildlife lovers but is a slap in the face for the authorities as well. If we go by the data provided by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), it indicates that 10 out of the 28 deaths were because of skin seizures. Talking of which, the Special Task Force on 12 March arrested a man who held two leopard skins from the Uttarkashi district. Followed by two more people who were caught from Mori District of Uttarkashi with two leopard skins on 15 March. As per the last survey that took place in the state, there were over 2600 leopards in the year 2008 which sadly has been decreasing with time.
Leaving Maharashtra behind with just 3 extra deaths, the Northern state suffers such loss because of the close proximity of humans near leopard habitats. From the time Uttarakhand was formed as a separate state in 2000, 300 cases of human deaths by leopards have come across. Besides, it’s not just the humans suffering, but also the leopards. As according to a survey, the number of leopard deaths in Uttarakhand reached 101 last year, the highest in the country. Additionally, 35% of cases of leopard deaths have reasons like poaching and seizure behind them. The Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttarakhand, Digvijay Singh Khati was heard saying that they are in talks with Germany for a collaboration over the alternatives that can be taken over to reduce the number of conflicts and attaining harmony. After all the mishaps, the authorities have also resorted to work on an initiative in which RRT (Rapid Response Team) will be set up in Pauri and Tehri. The main task of these teams that work in emergency would be to take care of the wild cats and sooth the situation among the villagers.
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