Forest minister Umesh Katti who visited Belagavi today seemed to be taking the intrusion of wild animals very lightly.
The Hindu Reporter Rishikesh Desai on his Twitter handle has shared – When asked why leopards, hyena and elephants were frequenting parts of the district, he said: “I am the forest minister. It is possible that they may have come to meet me’’.
The minister further also says as per Desai’s Tweet – To a question about why senior forest officers from Bengaluru had not visited Belagavi to supervise operations, He said local officers WERE managing the situation properply. To a question as to whether he would visit the area of operation, he said he would not visit as he was `afraid of going there’.
A big cage has been called in from Koppal and also Elephants from Sakrebail will be here to aid in the operation, the minister said in the media briefing.
The minister said he is certain in the 2-3 days the Leopard would be caught.
Standard Operating Procedure to Deal with Emergency Arising Due to Straying of Tigers in Human Dominated Landscapes –
State level would rest with the Chief Wildlife Warden of the concerned State.
8. Suggested “eld actions to deal with strayed wild carnivores (tiger/leopard)
(a) At the outset, constitute a Committee immediately for technical guidance and monitoring on day to day basis, as under:- i. A nominee of the Chief Wildlife Warden ii. A nominee of the National Tiger Conservation Authority iii. A veterinarian iv. Local NGO representative v. A representative of the local Panchayat vi. Field Director/Protected Area Manager/DFO I/C – Chairman
(b) Since it may not be always possible for experts from the Wildlife Institute of India to provide assistance, it is advised that some outside experts may be involved in the ongoing monitoring.
(c) Establish identity of the tiger by comparing camera trap photographs with National Repository of Camera Trap Photographs of Tigers (NRCTPT)/ Reserve level photo database and “nd out the source area of the animal.
(d) Collect recent cattle/livestock depredation or human injury/fatal encounter data, if any, in the area. If it is an area historically prone to such incidences, detailed research work has to be carried out in order to assess the reasons for the frequent tiger emergencies in the area
(e) In case of con”rmed livestock depredation/human injury/fatal encounters or frequent straying of tiger near human settlements, set traps (automatic closure) with appropriate luring while avoiding disturbance, to trap the animal.
(f) Set up camera traps near kill site to con”rm/establish the ID of the animal.
(g) Ensure unobtrusive guarding of the kill to allow feeding of the carcass (if not close to a human settlement) besides safeguarding from poisoning (for revenge killing).
(h) Create ‘pressure impression pads (PIPs)’ in the area to ascertain the daily movement of the animal, while plotting the same on a map (4” = 1 mile scale or 1 : 50,000 scale).
(i) Proactively involve District Collector/DM and SSP/SP of the area to maintain law and order in the area, besides avoiding crowding by local mobs. Acquaint them with human-tiger con&ict issues and guidelines of the NTCA to deal with the situation.
(j) In all instances of wild carnivores like tiger/leopard straying into a human dominated landscape, the district authorities need to ensure law and order by imposing section 144 of the Cr.PC. !is is essential to avoid agitation/excited local people surrounding the animal spot which hampers capture operation, leading to serious injuries on people and sta%. It is also necessary that police and local administration be involved at an early stage. E%ective coordination with them is critical to control mobs which as has been seen in several instances, worsen the situation and lead to avoidable fatalities/tragedies.