Mysuru: There are 45 to 50 leopards in the taluk and 150 to 170 in the district, said Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) Chairperson Mallige Veeresh here yesterday.
Speaking after inaugurating a session on ‘Leopard-Man Conflict, Control, Management, organised by the Forest Department and ZAK at Mysuru Zoo premises here yesterday, she said that a 5 km run from Chamundi Hill and an awareness programme at the Zoo amphitheatre to create awareness on leopards has been planned in the last week of February or the first week of March.
Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) P.B. Karunakar, who also spoke, said that trapping leopards was not the only solution to control leopards from entering human habitat and added that Karnataka is home for the largest population of leopards after Madhya Pradesh.
Stating that Karnataka has a vast area of reserve forests, compared to other States, the CCF said that no people or victims of leopard attacks demanded killing of big wild cats which enter human habitats which shows their concern towards the wild animal and added that 50 leopards were trapped in Mysuru Forest Division in the last three years.
CCF Manoj Kumar said that frequent sighting of leopards had increased due to increase in movement of people during late nights and added that it was the responsibility of every Government Departments in controlling man-animal conflicts.
He said that the population of leopards was high in Mysuru than thought and added that the people were not aware of it.
He urged the officials of other departments to join hands with the Forest officials in controlling man-animal conflicts.
Mysuru Zoo Executive Director C. Ravishankar said that Karnataka has 1,125 leopards and added that there were leopards in Chamundi Hill since many years and because of frequent entry of humans into their habitat, the leopards come out.
B.P. Ravi Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Member Secretary of Zoo Authority of Karnataka B.P. Ravi, DCFs Hanumanthappa and V. Yedukondalu and officials of various departments were present.