Gorakhpur hot spot of man-animal conflicts : The Tribune India

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Gorakhpur hot spot of man-animal conflicts

DEHRADUN: Gorakhpur village in Ramnagar, Nainital district, where a man-eater tigress was shot dead, appears to be the most ideal habitat for wildlife in the region and a hot spot for man-animal conflicts.



Jotirmay Thapliyal

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, October 23

Gorakhpur village in Ramnagar, Nainital district, where a man-eater tigress was shot dead, appears to be the most ideal habitat for wildlife in the region and a hot spot for man-animal conflicts.

The tigress shot on Thursday was hiding in this non-descript village. A tiny hamlet, Gorakhpur, originally known as Bhawanipur, has thick vegetation and good availability of water. It is a small village with around sixty to seventy families mainly engaged in agricultural activities.

Munish Kumar, a local resident, who has been working for the betterment of the victims of man-animal conflicts in and around Corbett, says that feline family members, such as leopards and tigers, find Gorakhpur a suitable hideout due to the thick foliage and existence of a gadera, a nature spring, there. “At some spots, the foliage is so dense that it looks dark even in the noon,” he says.

Munish says at present, nearly four or five leopards have made Gorakhpur their habitat and stand in direct conflict with local residents. People of Ramnagar have been the worst suffers. He accuses the Forest Department and the local administration of adopting a callous approach towards the challenge.

He says even in the present case of the man-eater tigress, it was only after public pressure mounted that the administration and the forest staff strengthened their search operation and pressed into service a helicopter and drones to locate the big cat.

However, on the other hand, wildlife conservationist Dr Hem Singh Gehlot says a man-eater should be shot down, but the root cause of the problem is yet to be addressed. “The Corbett region, including the territorial forests of Ramnagar, has witnessed rampant construction activities, resulting in pressure on forests. Under such conditions, the striped cat has been the ultimate suffer. There is a lot of pressure of human and anthropogenic activity in and around Corbett, which is bringing tigers in direct conflict with humans. This results in growing public pressure to declare tigers man-eaters after few incidents of conflict,” he added.

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