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  India   Parched wild animals die in search of water

Parched wild animals die in search of water

Published : Jun 23, 2016, 6:57 am IST
Updated : Jun 23, 2016, 6:57 am IST

Pictures and a video of a leopard with its head stuck in a pitcher in a village in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district in September last year had gone viral.


Pictures and a video of a leopard with its head stuck in a pitcher in a village in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district in September last year had gone viral.

But behind that picture was a distressing truth. The leopard was thirsty and had come to the village in search of water. It had tried to get at the water in the metal pitcher but unfortunately ended up getting its head stuck.

It, was however, lucky for not getting killed by villagers despite being stuck for nearly 10 hours. Usually the animal is stoned and beaten to death in such instances.

At least four panthers and a couple of hyenas have been killed in the last three months. The latest incident was only 10 days ago when a panther was stoned to death then burnt in Jhali ka Guda in Rajsamand.

Earlier, locals of Kachbali village in the same district had killed a panther and then uploaded selfies. Last month, a panther was killed by farmers at a sugarcane field in Bhujra village of Kundwa Panchayat in Rajsamand.

Instances of wild animals straying inside human habitations — not just villages, but even cities — are increasing. They kill domestic animals and attack people.

There have been at least a dozen incidents this month itself. While human-animal conflict is not new, water scarcity in this intense summer heat has led to a sharp increase in such incidents. Many small reservoirs have dried up while others are on the verge of drying up.

Last week, a panther was found dead in a parking lot of Jaipur’s famous religious and picnic spot, Khole Ke Hanuman Ji. The post-mortem revealed that it was starving and dehydrated.

“Water scarcity is forcing wild animals to stray into villages,” said Mr Babulal Jaju, the in-charge of People for Animals in the state. He estimated nearly 125 panther deaths due to water and food scarcity in the last one-and-a-half years and blamed the government for not making adequate arrangements.

Wildlife Board and National Tiger Conservation Authority member Rajpal Singh said, “Rainwater doesn’t last beyond winters. This is a typical problem during summers. Unlike tiger, panthers and other small animals are found outside forest areas as well.”

It is not practically possible to make drinking water arrangements for them,” he said.

“How do you know that a panther will remain in a particular area or come to drink at a particular spot ” he asked, recounting a recent incident wherein a leopard was found dead near Kotputali on the Jaipur-Delhi Highway. “I had not heard of a leopard in that area for the last 20 years,” he added.

According to Mr Singh, the main problem is human interference in wildlife, and till that is resolved, the conflict will escalate. “Tell me of a place – hill or forest - where we have not encroached upon. If we do not give enough space to animals, where else will they go hunting for food and water ” he asked. Recent incidents: 1. June 15: A panther was found dead in Jaipur, probably due to hunger and thirst. 2. June 11: A panther was stoned to death and burnt in Rajsamand district. 3. June 10: A female panther found dead in a well in Kota. 4. May 24: A youth in Jhalawar shot and killed a panther after being attacked. 5. May 14: Villagers killed a panther in Kachbali in Rajsamand. 6. June 6,7 & 8: Panthers attacked and killed three children in separate attacks at Udaipur, Pratapgarh and Rajsamand. 7. A leopard found dead in Paota near Jaipur last month. 8. A tiger and a panther spotted in a cement factory in Sawai Madhopur. 9. March 2016: Bear injured a man in Kota. 10. February 2016: Farmer injured in bear attack. 11. This year six hyenas found dead or killed. 12. Rajasthan High Court has taken cognizance of the increasing wild animal attacks.

Location: India, Rajasthan, Jaipur