Uttar Pradesh forest department learns how leopards and humans co-exist in Aarey Colony, SGNP

Mar 10, 2018, 11:01 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

After Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh forest dept officials takes note of how leopards and humans co-exist in Aarey Colony and SGNP; want to implement the 'Mumbai model'

Dr Utkarsh Shukla and Sanjay Srivastav interact with tribals
Dr Utkarsh Shukla and Sanjay Srivastav interact with tribals

After the Uttarakhand Forest Department, the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department has taken note of how leopards and humans co-exist in harmony in Mumbai. A team of its senior forest officials recently visited the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and Aarey Milk Colony. Impressed with the work going on here, the team has plans to replicate the model in UP.

Two senior officials - veterinary officer Dr Utkarsh Shukla from Kanpur Zoo and Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Sanjay Srivastav - visited the park on March 7 and 8, going to the tribal hamlets there and in Aarey, and interacted with tribals, who don't see leopards as a threat.

Impressed by the work
SGNP Director and Chief Conservator of Forests Anwar Ahmed said, "The team was impressed by the work Mumbaikars and NGOs have been doing for SGNP to create awareness among the stakeholders. These include tribals staying on the park's periphery and local police stations. The work includes awareness exercises done in schools on the park's periphery and a media sensitisation programme, which has ensured that man-animal conflict incidents are reported without much sensationalising. The officials have told us they will replicate the model in UP and also send their teams to Mumbai for training."

A helping hand
Range Forest Officer and Superintendent of Tiger and Lion Safari, Shailesh Deore, veterinary officer Dr Shailesh Pethe, volunteers of MfSGNP (Mumbaikars for SGNP) Sonu Singh and Snowy Baptista helped the UP team understand the things that were responsible for the success of the Mumbai model. Biologist Nikit Surve from Wildlife Conservation Society, India, gave a small presentation to the team about a leopard study going on in SGNP.

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