Very simple rules. Can't we do this much?

Bengalureans A quick lowdown on dos and donts if you spot a leopard
news Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 00:02

Leopard rumors have unsettled Bengaluru in the last one week, to the extent that over 129 schools in south Bengaluru declared a holidayon Thursday.

Ask people in Bengaluru about what they would do in case they spotted a wild animal, most of them would be clueless and dumbstruck or at the most say would spread the word and get help.

Forest Department on Friday issued the following advisory to the general public about Dos and Don’ts.

1. In the event of any leopard sighting, immediately call the Forest and Police officials. Let a safe passage for the animal to find its way back to where it came from.

2. Bursting of crackers, stone pelting, shooting; flashing camera will lead to disorientation of the animal leading it to stray into nearby buildings.

3. All schools should ensure they have grills fixed in bathroom windows / ventilators and no door should be left open. All unused classrooms should be shut from outside.

4. When a leopard is sighted, people should stay indoors and move only in groups. As the evening dawns, the leopard will find its way back without causing any harm to anybody.

5. The Sunday rescue operation got precipitated due to swelling of crowd who had absolutely no business in the entire operation. The leopard got disoriented and ferocious. Continuous clicking of cameras and shouting was provocative which finally led to attacks resulting in grievous injuries.

6. Karnataka Forest Department is fully equipped with the necessary rescue paraphernalia, its staff are experienced in dealing with such conflict issues.

Call the forest and nearest police departments immediately

Control Room: 100

CCF Bengaluru: 080-23344686

DCF Bengaluru: 080-23344672

Bannerghatta Biological Park- 9164950099

Tweet - @dipika_bajpai

Call the jurisdictional police station

Vidya Athreya, an ecologist, said that people must realise that wild animals are a part of the ecosystem and they do not mean any danger. They even consciously avoid contact with people unless obviously threatened or provoked.

Praveen Bhagav, managing trustee of Wildlife First and a member of a member of the National Board for Wildlife, “Just call the nearest forest department office or any emergency number and request that information is flashed to the forest department. Forming into a large group / mob is a sure shot recipe for the situation to get out of control.”

When it comes to preparing people to face such situations, Vidya said that two things are very important. “One, authorities should be available immediately and should act quickly. Two, local citizen groups should be crated, so that they can deal with the situation after a bit of basic training. It is the police whose role is extremely important in these instances when a leopard is seen, as they have to be there to keep people away,” she adds.

 “If we had only maintained crowd control and kept the entire crowd out of there then the leopard would have moved off in the night without any of the sad mishaps that happened that day. Only when we chase them do they retaliate in desperation - just as you and I would do,” Vidya says.

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