106 Leopards And 19 Tigers Dead In Uttarakhand This Year

A tiger found dead near Corbett, Uttarakhand
Jay Mazoomdar

As many as 106 leopards and 19 tigers have died in Uttarakhand till Dec 10 of this year. 57 leopards were killed by poachers, 19 died of old age or sickness, 7 were killed in accidents, 6 were killed by the forest department after being declared man-eaters, 6 died in territorial fights, 6 died during rescue operations, 3 were killed by other animals and carcasses of 2 cubs were found. Releasing these figures, the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) expressed concern that the rate of deaths could spell the end for these animals in Uttarakhand. In 2009, 85 leopards were killed and in 2008, the number of deaths is said to be 53. Overall, around 300 felines have been killed in the last four years. Wildlife experts claim that shrinking forests, continued pressure on forest lands and reduced herbivore numbers are forcing leopards to encroach on human habitats thus increasing conflicts.

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