M A I N   N E W S

Leopard terror lurks in Kasauli hills
Inadequate steps by Forest Deptt
Sanjeev Singh Bariana & Ambika Sharma

Kasauli, June 8
Tranquility in the serene hill town has been shattered by leopard attacks during the past fortnight. Residents and visitors alike seeking to spend precious moments, far from the maddening crowd, particularly during evenings, are being forced to shut themselves in their houses after sunset, as they do not dare to venture on the city roads.

Leopards have already killed a number of pet dogs in different parts of the town, both on the Lower Mall as well as the Upper Mall of this township. Leopard attacks have been confirmed at the residences of late BK Nehru, a distinguished civil servant and former governor, Ranjit Pal Mann and Brigadier Chaudhary residing in Ekant Villa apart from others.

In all instances, the jungle cats had attacked the pets after dark. Chowkidar Budh Ram said he saw the entire family of leopards together when a dog was attacked in the neighbourhood of the house he guarded. “One cat was sitting on the tree while the other one dragged the dog into the tree cover. The pups trailed behind”, he said.

The Forest Department has confirmed a leopard couple along with two pubs to be on the move in the vicinity. Rajinder Gandhi, Forest Range Officer (Parwanoo), said, “The leopard family moved here after a fire in the adjoining forests of Mashobra and Karar. Let me clarify, leopards never attack human beings, except when they are threatened”.

Forest Department officials held a special meeting with the cantonment Executive Officers on June 4 following complaints by local residents. Devinder Gupta, a former cantonment board member, lamented that nothing concrete had been done to trap the cat. Forest departments had been constantly asked to step in and assure public safety.

Forest Department Officials, however, complain of being ill equipped. Said Gandhi, “We only have one cage. In case the cubs get trapped the parent cats would create such hue and cry that it would be difficult to control them.”





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