Soreng, May 28: Wildlife Range Soreng, Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary under West Wildlife Division had been receiving numerous complaints from the residents of different villages under Soreng District regarding crop raiding, cattle killing, loss of domesticated dogs and cats by wild animals in the recent past. Such complaints about lifting of cattle and pets by a wild animal was received from Upper Timburbong in the last few weeks. Acting upon the complaints , the staff of Soreng Wildlife Range had installed camera traps at various location to ascertain the identity of the cattle lifter. The camera trap image revealed that an adult Common Leopard(Panthera pardus) had been causing such loss to the farmers of the locality. The leopard had already lifted a total of twenty one goats, half a dozed cows and calves and numerous dogs and cats in the past two months at the same locality.
Fearing for their lives, the villagers logged a complaint to the authorities and based upon the complaints from them and under the direction of DFO W/L West Ms. Nisha Subba and the District Authority, a leopard capturing cage was installed to Murchal Upper Timburbong on 27th of May 2023.
The bulky cage was installed on an appropriate site close to the village by the staff of Wildlife Range with the help of local villagers. The tedious task of installing the cage was completed late in the evening and staff were deputed to monitor about any activities in the cage. At around midnight the same day the beast got captured inside the cage while trying to pull away the bait that had been laid for its capture. The next morning of 28/05/23 at around 5 am the Range Officer Ashish Lama along with his team reached the spot. On reaching the site it was learnt that the captured animal was an adult male common leopard which was healthy and showed no signs of injury. On direction from the higher authority of the department the captured leopard was released back to its appropriate natural habitat away from the human settlement.
Wildlife Range Soreng, Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary has been successful in capturing such rogue animals in the past. Two common leopards both males were captured from Phunseybong and Lower Timburbong in the last three months. Similarly two Himalayan black bears were captured from Rinchenpong and Chakung during the month of December. The range has successfully rescued many barking deers and numerous reptiles from human settlements in the past.
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