Soon after MiD DAY reported that illegal dumping of cattle carcasses was being carried out at various locations in Aarey Milk Colony and was one of the main reasons why leopards were attracted to human settlements in the colony (‘Dead cattle lure leopards to Aarey’, February 20, 2013), the Aarey Dairy Development has taken a serious note of the issue.
According to Ashok Jadhav, chief executive officer (CEO) of Aarey Milk Colony, notices have been issued to all 30 tabela owners in the colony, stating a warning that those found illegally dumping cattle carcasses in the area would lose their licenses and strict action will be taken as per the law. “We have already started taking rounds in the area to check on the illegal dumpings,” said an official from Aarey Milk Colony. “If caught, strict action will be taken against the offender.”
“It is good that the Aarey Dairy Department has sent notices to the stable owners,” said Wildlife Expert Krishna Tiwari. “But just by giving notices, the issue won’t get solved. In order to check if the illegal dumping of carcasses has stopped completely, the officials should conduct surprise visits. If found defaulting, the license of the concerned stable owner should be cancelled and a penalty should be imposed.”
In a nutshell
MiD DAY has followed the leopard attacks in Aarey Milk Colony and has pin pointed many reasons for the rising human-leopard conflict in the area. Main reasons are the unavailability of public toilets making residents step out into the wilderness after sundown and inadequate lighting and illegal garbage dumping making for an easy hunting ground. The spotted cats are mainly on the lookout for pigs and stray dogs around settlements, and the stench of a carcass in the area draws the leopard too close to human settlement.