Nepal | January 18, 2021

Leopard sightings become more frequent

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, September 11

Incidents of leopard sighting in the city areas have become a common occurrence in Kathmandu Valley of late.

Kathmandu residents have witnessed six incidents of leopards entering the city areas in the fiscal 2015/16. Only two months into the fiscal 2016/17, six more similar incidents were reported in the Valley.

According to the Central Zoo of Jawalakhel, altogether five such incidents were reported yesterday, on September 9 alone. “We found three cubs and a mother leopard in Sirutar-8, Bhaktapur and the locals of Thali informed us that there was a leopard in the area on the same day,” Radhakrishna Gharti, senior veterinarian at the Central Zoo told The Himalayan Times.

He added, “Before that, a leopard was killed on August 1 in Matatirtha.” Gharti further expressed worry over the phenomena. A veteran leopard catcher Gharti has the experience of catching dozens of leopards, treating and later releasing them back into their natural habitats.

He said the three new born cubs found in Sirutar of Bhaktapur yesterday indicated that the breeding environment in the leopard’s natural habitat may not be ideal due to several factors.

“This is the first known case in Nepal where any leopard gave birth in a concrete human settlement,” he said, adding, “But it is likely that the leopard carried the cubs after giving birth in the jungle.

This indicates that the breeding environment for animals is not safe in the jungles anymore and the leopard brought its cubs to the house to protect them from perceived predators.”

A team led by Gharti had gone to observe the condition of the leopard and its newborn cubs yesterday and have since warned the locals not to go near the leopard.

Locals had reported the authorities that a leopard had given birth to three cubs at a house belonging to Lalitjung Thapa in Sirutar-8 of Aanantalingeshwor Municipality in Bhaktapur last week.

Thapa had abandoned the house after it was damaged by the earthquakes last year. Although the mother leopard does not stay with the cubs the entire day, it keeps returning to feed the cubs several times, locals said.

In January, a male leopard had attacked an old woman in Kirtipur and another leopard had entered into the compound of a Kuleshwor-based private house in June. Similarly last year, a leopard was spotted lurking in New Baneshwor.

A data obtained from the central zoo show that six leopards enter the city area in the Kathmandu Valley on an average annually. But authorities and experts are still unsure why the leopards are leaving their natural home in favour of human settlements.

According to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, no research has been conducted so far to establish the reason. Deputy Director General at the DNPWC Dr Maheshwor Dhakal said jungle encroachment had prompted the big cats to go on the loose.

Wildlife expert Dr Mukesh Kumar Chalise said significant decrease in prey and leopard-friendly habitats in the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park could be blamed for leopards entering into settlements.

“Tall trees and greenery in the forests alone don’t ensure good habitat for leopards, as they also need shrubs and suitable prey,” said Dr Chalise, adding, “Lack of food in jungles has been forcing leopards to stray into city areas.”


A version of this article appears in print on September 12, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Price of precious metals fall

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 16 The price action of precious metals in the trading week of January 10 to 15 suggests investor indecision and impending volatility in the international markets. According to the rate list of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FeNeGoSiDA), gold Read More...

Sherpa, Acharya take lead

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 16 Pemba Sherpa and Sadbhav Acharya took lead after the first day of the Indian Ambassador’s Invitational Golf Tournament here at the Gokarna Golf Club today. Played under stabelford 3/4 handicap format, the seven-handicap amateur golfer Sherpa earned 39 points to stay Read More...

Tikapur carnage convict says he will revolt for justice

DHANGADI, JANUARY 16 Laxman Tharu, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the Tikapur carnage by the High Court, said he would start a revolt for justice. Tharu, who had been underground following the High Court’s verdict, informed about his preparations to take up a Read More...

Over 2,000 absconding convicts nabbed

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 16 Nepal Police said it arrested a total of 2,332 persons absconding after being convicted for various crimes from different parts of the country in fiscal 2019-20. Nepal Police claimed jail sentence of 1,378 years along with around Rs 380 million in fine from them. The numb Read More...

Nepse crosses new milestones

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 16 The country’s sole secondary market sailed past new milestones in the trading period between January 10 and 14, with Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index advancing by 4.19 per cent or 92.05 points weekon-week to settle at a new high. The share market continues to be a Read More...

Britain invites G7 leaders to Cornish resort for June summit

LONDON: Britain announced plans to hold the first in-person meeting of the G7 for nearly two years in June, inviting the leaders of major developed economies to a picturesque seaside village to discuss rebuilding from the pandemic and climate change. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he wants to us Read More...

Facebook to ban ads promoting weapon accessories, protective gear in US

Facebook Inc said on Saturday it will ban advertisements for weapon accessories and protective equipment in the United States with immediate effect until at least two days after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Following the attack by supporters of President Donald Trump Read More...

Betty White marks 99th birthday Sunday; up late as she wants

LOS ANGELES:  True to form, Betty White has something impish to say about her birthday Sunday. “Since I am turning 99, I can stay up as late as I want without asking permission!” she told The Associated Press in an email. White's low-key plans include feeding a pair of ducks that regularl Read More...