Wildlife teams conducting searches
Hajin, Kashmir: Panic has enveloped the town of Hajin in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district as residents grapple with the presence of a leopard for the past four days. The leopard was first sighted in Mir Mohalla near Masjid Khudam, and subsequently, it was spotted in adjoining localities, including Baghat Mohalla, Bonikhan, and Shukrindan Mohalla of Hajin town.
The leopard has ventured into residential areas such as Baharabad, Sumbal, and Nesbal, triggering fear and panic among the inhabitants. “I heard the barking of dogs and went outside my home at 8:15 pm on Saturday. I was shocked to spot a leopard in front of our home. I immediately informed the police, who advised me to move to a safer place and inform people about the presence of the leopard,” said Danish Ahmad, a local resident.
Due to the fear instilled by these leopards, residents have refrained from venturing out of their homes in the evening for the past three days. “We have been having sleepless nights. Even the slightest sound outside our homes terrifies us now,” added Danish.
President Civil Society Hajin Mir Bashir Ahmad has issued a fervent plea to wildlife officials, urging them to initiate a large-scale search operation and install a trap cage to capture the leopard. He stressed the need for immediate action before the situation escalates further.
In response to the situation, teams from the Department of Wildlife Protection, armed with tranquilizer guns and nets, have been conducting thorough searches in Hajin to capture the leopard. “Our teams are camping in the affected area, and cages have been set up to capture the leopard,” stated a Range Officer from Bandipora.
It is noteworthy that the leopard had previously killed 14 sheep and left several others injured in the Khumina Hajin area of the Bandipora district on Wednesday. Additionally, a tragic incident occurred on August 29, 2023, when a seven-year-old boy was mauled to death by a leopard in the Nesbal area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Efforts to capture the leopards are ongoing, with authorities working diligently to ensure the safety and security of the residents in the affected areas.