Raipur. After the death of a leopard victim in the Kanker forest division a few days ago, Arvind PM, DFO of Kanker, caught a male and a female leopard in Paleva and Bhainsakatti of Kanker forest. He took them to the jungle safari Raipur division on 12 September. The female was sent back but, the male died of septicemia on 16 September; his hind leg had a wound. However, he was declared completely healthy; when they brought it to Raipur.
After bringing it to Raipur, the investigation showed that the female cub is only two and a half years old, and her weight is 25 kg, so she could not have killed any human; they hurriedly took the female back. According to the Government of India guidelines, a radio collar has to be installed while releasing the leopard back into the forest. But they did not even place a chip. Nitin Singhvi of Raipur asked How could the DFO not know that the female leopard is young? The jungle safari management refused to take the female given her young age.
He had told PCCF by WhatsApp at 8 in the morning that "Examining the photo of both the leopards, it seems that both are not big enough to hunt a human, so leave them in the forest immediately. According to the guideline, they are to be released in their habitat forest as they are domestic."
When they brought the male leopard to Raipur, he was completely healthy. He weighed 40 kg and was of four years. He was stopped for observation in Raipur because he had not killed the woman since he was four years old. The Forest Department was waiting for any new incidents in the Kanker area to identify the problematic leopard.
DFO Arvind PM stated that they are going to examine the pugmark of the captured leopard. On this, Nitin Singhvi said that on the day the woman died, because of heavy rain and movement of many people, the pugmark of that leopard could not be collected as per the rules.
Singhvi said that on the 15th, he again sent WhatsApp to PCCF Wildlife to inform that due to the highly adaptable nature of the leopard, experts suggest that the leopard should be released immediately without delay. On delay, the fear of humans decreases and after being released, in search of easy food, chickens etc. they enter the fence to eat.
“There is a movement of 40 to 50 leopards in the forest from where they were caught. Without expertise, it is difficult to identify the problematic leopard. The captured leopard also cannot be declared as problematic as it will be prone to aggression and stress once it is caught.”
“Even if no new incidents occur, the department cannot declare the captured leopard as a problem leopard or a cannibalistic leopard, then why is it caught and kept in a jungle safari?”
Nitin Singhvi has demanded that the PCCF Wildlife and DFO are guilty, so both should be suspended and investigated. PCCF Wildlife kept the leopard hostage without any reason. They should resign from the job on moral grounds.