Pune: Junnar Forest Division Advises Shepherd Families To Use Tents For Protection Against Leopard Attacks

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Junnar, 29th April 2024: The Junnar forest division has issued a crucial directive urging shepherd families to prioritize their safety by sleeping in tents rather than in the open. This proactive measure aims to mitigate the risk of leopard attacks, which have claimed innocent lives in the region. The forest department has emphasized the importance of strict implementation of this directive by gram panchayats across the area.

The urgency for such action was underscored by a harrowing incident on April 11th, when a one-and-a-half-year-old girl from a shepherd’s family fell victim to a leopard attack in Shiroli Khurd village, Junnar. Amol Satpute, the deputy conservator of forest for the division, emphasized the peril faced by shepherd families who often sleep in open areas near their livestock without adequate protection.

Satpute stated, “Hundreds of shepherd families migrate to Junnar tehsil from different districts every summer in search of fodder. Sleeping in open areas without any cover poses a grave threat to their lives. Therefore, we have instructed them to utilize tents for their safety.”

Forest officials have also engaged with gram panchayats to ensure the effective enforcement of this directive. Recognizing the symbiotic relationship between villages and shepherd communities, the forest department has urged villages to prioritize the safety of shepherds, who contribute to their economy through the purchase of green fodder.

Highlighting the affordability and effectiveness of tents, forest officials have demonstrated their use to shepherd communities. They stress that tents provide a crucial barrier against leopard attacks, shielding both humans and livestock from harm. Plans are also underway to extend similar safety measures to migrant workers who arrive in Junnar for farm work, addressing vulnerabilities faced by this vulnerable demographic.