Natives of Almora and tourists alike have taken their protest against rampant man-leopard conflict in the district to Facebook, the social networking website.The website has been widely used to disseminate information on casualties, in order to serve as an eye-opener for the state government and seek relief for the victims and their families.Demonstrators blocked Chaukhutiya-Dwarahat main road on February 9 against leopard attacks. Leopards killed four people since December 2014, says official figures.
Dev Negi, a Facebook user based in Mumbai and hailing from Dwarahat, Almora, posted the following text: ‘Dwarahat me aaj phir Se Man Eating Leopard ne ek lady pe attack kiya and she is badly injured and in a critical condition. Ab ye samjh nahi aa raha ke kya Uttarakhand government Marne walo ki century ka wait kr rahi hai? This is the third case in the last seven days, logon ka ghar Se bahar nikalna mushkil ho gaya hai’ (A man-eater leopard has attacked another woman today in Dwarahat and she is badly injured. I do not know whether the Uttarakhand government is waiting for the toll to reach 100. This is third case in the last seven days and people aren’t stepping out of their homes due to terror).
Negi has also posted photographs of the victims on his Facebook wall, seeking immediate attention of the state government.Manish Aggarwal of Delhi posted: “In January, I had been to my friend’s place at Uleni village, which falls between Dwarahat and Ganai. I must say that I knew about leopard activities there and I could feel fear especially during the nights! The government must do something about it!”Naveen Bisht of Ranikhet shared details about his discussion with a local MLA about man-leopard conflict in the district which went in vain.
December 2014: Chetram, a resident of Bhagtola village, Almora, was killed by a leopard
April 2015: Kalawati Devi from Uleni village, Almora, was killed by a leopard
February 8, 2016: Bhutal Singh Negi, from Mahalchura village, Almora, was killed during a leopard attack
February 9, 2016: Locals block Chaukhutiya-Dwarahat main road for four hours in protest of leopard attacks
February 16, 2016: Tara Singh, a resident of Chiteli village, Almora, killed by a leopard
February 11, 2016: Chief wildlife warden declared the presence of a man-eater leopard in Almora
February 19, 2016: Local hunter Nandan Singh shot a leopard dead. Forest officials say it is not the same man-eater that killed people in the district.
Shooter Lakhpat Singh and other locals are tracing movement of the man-eater. Two camera traps are also installed.