Friday, July 27, 2007

Leopard on the prowl in India's Surat

Manish Panwala
Thursday, July 26, 2007 (Bardoli)

The leopard has been causing panic in neighbouring villages in Surat but with rain filling up the fields, it's now out on the state highway connecting Bardoli to Mahuva in south Gujarat.

"The leopard does not like to be in the rain soaked fields. So it has now come out into the open much to the people's scare," said Ajay Patel, Vice President, Prayas.

The leopard has been at large for several weeks but the wildlife department has failed to catch it.

"We have been telling the wildlife authorities that they need to executive some effective plan to trap the leopard, but they have failed so far," said Vinodbhai, villager.

Frequent straying of leopards has also been reported from villages of Surat and Navsari and the authorities are baffled.

Wildlife experts suggest the use of modern gadgets to counter these animals.

"There are modern gadgets available now. For instance guns, which can administer tranquiliser, can be used," said Karmavir Bhatt, Wildlife Expert.

But till the time this leopard moves back to his habitat or is trapped these villages will live in constant fear.

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