SRINAGAR: The presence of omnivorous wild boars, a species not native to Kashmir but introduced in the 19th century as game, has been seen to be increasing in many areas of the valley, causing apprehensions about the safety of people. The concern has grown after a four-year-old girl was recently attacked and later killed by a wild animal in Budgam district.
A wildlife official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Kashmir Reader that on a daily basis people have been reporting about the presence of wild boars near human habitations. As per rough estimates, there are some 200 wild boars in the valley, found in many areas, the official said.
The wild animal is believed to have been brought to Kashmir by the Dogra ruler Maharaja Gulab Singh, who initially placed them in Dachigam park on the outskirts of Srinagar. Increase in climatic temperature, and presence of the same animal across the LoC could be the reason for their increasing presence in the valley.
Their presence has also caused apprehensions because it is believed that invasive species show dominance on native species, which is bad news for the native wild boar species in Kashmir.
“We have seen them in fields many times. We informed the government about it but nothing much has been done. The recent incident in Budgam has frightened us,” Ali Muhammad Magray, a resident of Bandipora, told Kashmir Reader.
The four-year-old girl in Budgam who was mauled to death by a leopard was playing in the lawn of her house when the wild animal attacked her. Since then, the wildlife department has caught a leopard some miles away in Khudpora in Khansahib, while two more leopards have been spotted at two different places in Watkaloo in Charar-i-Sharief and Huroo in Budgam.
“We want the government to make a plan for the containment of the wild animals, to prevent them from entering human habitats. Otherwise, the man-animal conflict will only increase,” Magray said.