Hyderabad: The state forest department is gearing up to control rising man-animal and cattle-wild animal conflicts in Telangana state.
The conflicts are rising because wild animals are entering human habitats in search of food and water in the absence of the same in the forests.
In the last four years, wild animals have killed around 22 humans in Telangana state while 133 others were injured. In the same period, wild animals killed 368 cattle, for which the forest department paid over Rs 95 lakh in compensation.
Near Yacharam in Ranga reddy district, recently, a leopard had attacked goats for five consecutive days. Later, leopard attacks were reported twice from another village. There are also unconfirmed reports of a security guard sighting a leopard on the University of Hyderabad campus.
Worried by this trend, forest officials and wildlife experts are now taking measures to control the conflicts. The department has decided to create proper food and water sources for the wild animals. The attacks are mostly seen in summer, from February to June.
“The animals venture into human habitats because of unavailability of water, prey and forest fires,” said a forest official.
As a preventive measure, the department earlier identified water bodies across the state. The forest department’s GIS cell divided the protected forests into 2,493 grids and confirmed that only 520 of them have sufficient water bodies while artificial water bodies will have to come up in the remaining grids.
The forest department has initiated work in some grids but are helpless in areas that are remote.
Officials have asked staff to grow grass in the forest to attract the herbivores and ensure that carnivores get sufficient prey.
“We are taking all measures to control man-animal conflicts,” additional principal chief conservator of forests Mr Munindra said.
“We have instructed beat officers to plan for grass land development in their concerned beats. We have decided to increase water sources and prey base in the forest areas to minimise such incidents,” he said....