25 Killed By Wild Animals in Kashmir in Six Months

Srinagar, Aug 26: At least 25 persons were killed and 17 others injured in the attacks of wild animals in the strife hit Kashmir since 2006.

A top officer of the South Kashmir Wild Life Department told Newsblaze that the incidence of conflict between animals and human beings keep on fluctuating in Kashmir. “On occasions, there is a rise in the incidents while on another occasions there is some decline”, he said, adding, “This trend keeps on changing”.

He said that 34 incidents between animals-human beings have taken place this year. “In these incidents, five persons lost their lives and 29 others were injured”, he said.

The official further said that last year 53 incidents of conflict between animals and human beings were reported. In these 53 incidents, eight lives were lost and 72 persons including some minors were injured.

The wild life official said that two leopards were killed in South Kashmir. One was a man-eater and was killed in Shangus and another was also killed after proper permission. Five black bears were also killed by the people in South Kashmir. “Two of the black bears were killed after proper permission from the wild life department while three others were killed by people after they attacked their habitat.

The Jammu and Kashmir Forest minister, Qazi Mohammad Afzal said that 25 persons were killed by animals in Kashmir while 170 others were injured..

He said that the people were killed in the attacks by leopards and black bears, whose numbers increased significantly during the past few years.

The wild life officials term the conflict the result of the decimation of forest cover and shrinkage of habitat due to expanding human populations, un-checked and ever increasing developmental activities; bringing of more area under agriculture and horticulture in fringes of the forest areas; decline in the natural prey base in the forests with the passage of time; population explosion leading to massive expansion of residential areas near the forests, increase in the number of common leopard/black bear due to complete ban on its hunting and the global warming and climate changes.

They say that the presence of Indian security forces in the forest areas also some times causes disturbance to the habitat of the wildlife.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.