Mysuru: As many as 24 leopards have strayed from forests into human habitats since 2015 till date in Mysuru district alone. To prevent this, it has been decided to insert a micro chip in the body of the straying wild cat to monitor its movements, as per Central Zoo Authority guidelines.
In Mysuru taluk, six leopards were caught in the past three years- nine in Nanjangud taluk and nine in HD Kote taluk. Eight leopards were caught this year, ten leopards in 2016-17 and six in 2015-16 by forest officers. According to Mysuru Zoo director Mr Ravishankar, while there are over 7,700 leopards in India, Karnataka has 1,225 leopards, and more than 70 in the forests in Mysuru district. Leopards have wide adaptability and usually stray out for food into agricultural land. But these agricultural plots are being converted into layouts. Also, the unscientific waste disposal by the public, cooking of food near Chamundi hills and lunch for devotees as part of vows at Chamundi hills, have encouraged leopards to come out and pounce on dogs feeding on left over food.
"Hence we are not just inserting micro chips in the leopards, stakeholders from different sections of society were invited to share their views on handling man-animal conflict. They have voiced their opinion saying creating awareness on man-animal conflict is the best way out," Mr Ravishankar said.