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Arunachal: Leopard straying in Human habitat captured from Wakro town

The capture and rescue operation was carried out jointly by team of Kamlang Tiger Reserve and rescue team from Pakke Tiger Reserve.

WAKRO- The leopard which was straying in the areas nearby Wakro town and predating on domestic animals has been captured in Wakro on 05.09.2022. The capture and rescue operation was carried out jointly by team of Kamlang Tiger Reserve and rescue team from Pakke Tiger Reserve. As the captured leopard could not be rehabilitated back in the wild, it has been decided by the authorities to shift the leopard to Itanagar Biological Park (Itanagar Zoo) with the approval of the Chief Wildlife Warden.

After repeated reports of leopard movement near town and killing of livestock very close to human settlements, administration of Kamlang TR, under leadership of Field Director Harshraj Wathore started close monitoring of leopard movement. Camera traps were installed at probable locations of leopard movement to track its signs. An advisory was issued to the people of Town and nearby villages for taking necessary precautions to avoid leopard conflicts. Precautions such as bursting of crackers, loudspeaker announcements, night patrolling, clearing of weeds near settlements were also carried out to avoid any loss of lives and property by the wild animal.

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A rescue team comprising of a veterinary officer along with necessary tranquilising equipments was also called from Pakke Tiger Reserve. The team remained stationed at Wakro for one week and identified areas of movement of leopard and installed cages at two locations. On 05.09.2022, in the morning hours cage monitoring staff of Kamlang TR reported that a leopard is trapped in the cage. Necessary precautionary measures were taken immediately to avoid any self-injury by the animal. An expert tranquilising team from Pakke TR was also brought in to rescue the leopard from cage.

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It is observed that the leopard has been roaming around Wakro town and nearby villages for long time. Regular incidences of predation of domestic animals by leopard indicates that it has become habitual in hunting livestock as an easy prey. Movement of such wild predator near human settlement poses threat of human wildlife conflicts and releasing it in wild can cause its re-emergence in areas of grazing livestock after some time. As the captured leopard could not be rehabilitated back in the wild, it has been decided by the authorities to shift the leopard to Itanagar Biological Park (Itanagar Zoo) with the approval of the Chief Wildlife Warden.

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The capture and rescue operation was carried out by FD & DFO Kamlang TR Harshraj Wathore, RFO  Kalseng Denchen, RFO (territorial range) Hage Oppo, Dy. RFO P. Meyan, Field Biologist Aditya Das and protection force of Kamlang TR under guidance of PCCF (Wildlife) & CWLW N. Tam and DCF Damodhar A.T. The operation was carried out with immense support from DFO Pakke TR Suraj Singh and assistance of veterinary officers from Pakke TR Dr. Panjit Basumatary,  Madhurjya and their rescue team.

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