Fear of big cats forces many people in Uttarakhand to desert villages
Kotdwar (Uttarakhand): Fear of big cats prevails in the dark woods in villages of Uttarakhand’s Kotdwar district, official sources said on Friday. The district administration has warned the villagers against moving around the forests on bikes. Text messages are also being sent to the residents around the forest to remain alert. A group of people travelling through the forests on motorcycles had a close shave when leopards pounced on them. In April this year, a big cat dragged a five-year-old girl to the forest. The incident occurred when she was playing on the courtyard of her house.
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Similarly, hundreds of villagers in Dugadda and Pokhra blocks in Pauri district left their homes for nearby towns because of increasing attacks by leopards. Those who are living there spend sleepless nights. During the day, they take their children to school and bring them back at noon. Such is the fear of leopards in those areas. Many residents of Godi village in Pokhra left their homes. They are living on rent in towns. Godi village, which was abuzz with activities, looks like a haunted place today. The residents left it on August 25. Only four families living there also plan to leave it as early as possible. The residents are coordinating with the forest officials to step up patrolling in the area, sources in the forest department said. According to a social worker Sudhir Sundriyal, more than five leopards are sighted in these areas.