The district forest officer (DFO) Daljeet Singh Brar, along with two block officers, Jarnail Singh and Jagdish pal Singh visited the forest on Sunday morning to catch sight of the animal but to no avail.
The forest department has now restricted the movement of people in Kadian’s forest area and said that “...action will be taken under Wildlife Protection Act 1972 against those who enter the forest area”.
Giving an explanation as to why the forest department has failed to catch the animal till date, DFO Brar said: “The department is fully equipped with all the guns and other logistics to catch the leopard. It is the wild nature of the animal which is the hindrance. It sometimes hides in the nearby Sutlej river banks and other areas nearby which is making the hunt difficult.”
The DFO added that “...if disturbed, the animal can enter residential areas and thus villagers and others should be on high alert and inform forest department at the earliest on getting any clue of the animal’s presence”.
It is to be noted that in past few days all the efforts of the forest officials have failed to bear fruit and now the officials, “...have kept the carcass of the killed sambar in a cage in Kadian village put to lure the leopard as it is expected to return to the area for food in coming hours,” as per the forest guard, Kulwant Singh.
Dr Sandeep Jain, co-opted member of Animal Welfare Board of India said, “It shows that the district forest office lacks equipment and expertise to catch the animal. The leopard was caught within one day in Sangrur but Ludhiana forest office have utterly failed in the mission.”
The department is also short of tranquiliser guns needed to put the animal in an unconscious state to make the capture easier for officials.