Wildlife dept employees face dearth of safety gears to track animals

SHOPIAN: Amid harshest winter when wild animals are forced to roam in human habitations for want of food, the wildlife personnel are lacking on key safety gadgets to catch, tranquillise and drive back the wild animals back in forests.
An official from wildlife said that there is a dearth of safety gadgets for employees and some key equipment to equip its staff to catch or sedate animals.
Recently several wildlife employees were found tracking a leopard at Trenz village of Shopian wearing no safety gadgets to protect themselves with many on the pursuit wearing normal shoes.
“Even though we are trained for this job, we are risking our lives to catch such untamed animals without wearing safety gadgets,” an official posted in south Kashmir told Kashmir Reader.
Another official of the department said that there should be bite proof gloves, uniform and other gadgets like helmets for the job so that such animals can be tranquillised or driven back without causing any fatalities.
“We can act swiftly to catch these animals. Otherwise it takes us long as we have to take precautions to take most safe positions and even fire tranquilising darts on animal from a distance that even can missing the target,” he said.
According to official data, as many as 800 cases of man-animal conflict cases were reported in wildlife division Shopian in last two years.
Wildlife Warden Shopian Intisar Suhail told Kashmir Reader that his staff is trained to catch animals but they lack protection gears and other necessary gadgets for the job.

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