Khed farmers build water tanks for thirsty leopards

Updated: Nov 18, 2018, 10:50 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Pune

Pool in money to build two tanks and refurbish an old one to help prevent man-animal conflicts in area

One of the water tanks built for wild animals in Ranmala village
One of the water tanks built for wild animals in Ranmala village

Three farmers in Khed have figured out a way to overcome man-animal conflicts in their area. They have come together and built two water tanks and refurbished an old one, so that wild animals, especially leopards, can have easy access to water and not go roaming about looking for it.

More than 10 cattle, pets and humans have been attacked in Ranmala village of Khed taluka in Pune district by leopards in the past two years. To prevent such incidents, the three farmers constructed the tanks under the guidance of Samyukta Vanvyawastha Samiti (a group of locals) and forest department officials.

The tanks built by Baban Khadke, Genubhau Bhujbal and Rajaram Shinde are in isolated areas of their fields. They contributed Rs 1.78 lakh towards building the two and repairing the third. Speaking to mid-day Khadke said, "One tank was built 20 years back. We thought the solution to leopard attacks was to build a water facility for wild animals. The tanks are filled by water from our wells every two days."

P T Shinde, president of the village management, said, "In the past there were many man-animal conflict incidents and leopard sightings in this area. The tanks have helped provide water to leopards, other wild animals and birds. The two new tanks are 5ft x 5ft and they are far from the farms and human movement." Regional Forest officer Shubhangi Chavan said, "It's a good gesture by farmers. Leopards are friends of humans."

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