Government must prioritize safeguarding both human and animal lives
Post by RK News on Thursday, December 29, 2022
Newspaper reports are a testimony to the fact that the problem of animals appearing in and attacking human habitations escalates during winters. With food scarcity hitting the natural habitat of wild animals during winters, many animals particularly bears and leopards have been responsible for transgressing into the human territory. The results of such transgressions have often been bloody. In places around Kashmir, there have been many incidents of violent attacks by bears and leopards in the past. Besides, regularly losing their livestock from such attacks, many people have lost their loved ones. Many argue that such attacks are a direct fall out of large scale exploitation of forests by humans; acres and acres of tree stubs on mountains bearing a proof of this. In many of the cases, villagers have resorted to attack animals in retaliation and unfortunately killed a huge number of them. It is a shame that even in 21st century people see no other alternative than killing an animal for defence. Government with its entire modernized outlook has so far failed to modernize the Wildlife Department so that it can effectively tackle wild life incursions in human areas. It is an established that most of these attacks have been reported in areas which lie in the vicinity of forests but till now no effective awareness drive has been conducted by the said departments in this regard. Communication, especially the kind that can save lives, needs to move beyond token broadcasts. Kashmir has a rich wealth of wildlife which is not immune to human activities and development initiatives. Brisk and huge presence of humans in forests poses a threat to the habitats of animals. Hangul story is not an old one, neither without lessons. Forest department must take a lead in alleviating the fear and losses due to human-animal encounters. Besides, informing people about the safety measures, the forest protection force must be trained effectively to tackle encounters between humans and animals. In certain places, the department must establish a boundary wall, thereby segregating the two habitats. Equipping the personnel and people in high attack incidence areas with equipment to sedate animals is the need of the hour and paying ex-gratia to the victims becomes imperative upon the government agencies concerned. Kashmir has a potential to set an example by employing the best practices and techniques to protect its wealth – humans, forest and animals.