With no human intervention or vehicular movement in the vicinity of forests, wildlife is breathing free. Amid the silence of the lockdown, a leopard had seemed to have walked its way up to 300 kilometers from the jungles of Valmiki Nagar Tiger Reserve through the Gandak river to the Vaishali district of Bihar.
A leopard was found on the morning of April 8 in the Lalganj area of the Vaishali district, entering the village, the big cat had even injured two people. He was apparently hiding near a bund after attacking the villagers. Soon after, a rescue team of the Forest Department from Patna had rushed to the village and almost 6 hours later, the Leopard was captured after being tranquilised.
Speaking over the incident, Principal secretary, Forest Dipak Singh said, "Due to less human movement, they are feeling free and unhindered and most probably have come from VTR, walking along the Gandak river and canals. Even in 2011, during the Sonepur Mela, a tiger from Valmikinagar Tiger reserve had come walking 300 km up to Sonepur."
After going through a medical check-up by the team of doctors in Patna, the wildcat was freed again to the Valmiki Nagar Tiger Reserve. Deputy Director of Valmiki Nagar Tiger Reserve Gaurav Ojha said, "In the recent past we have rescued three leopards. The leopard rescued from Vaishali is a male, around 4-5 years of age and in sound health. After the check-up, I myself went along with my team released the Leopard in the Jungle and the next day it was spotted in our camera trap in the jungles."
"On March 23 and March 28, we had rescued two female leopards in the fringe areas of VTR and released them in the jungles. Due to lockdown, it seems the wildlife are straying away from the jungles. Now our primary focus is that Tigers do not stray away from the habitat during the lockdown," he added.
Valmiki Nagar Tiger Reserve, located on the Indo Nepal Border on the Banks of Gandak River, is stretched in an area of 900 square Kms. The Tiger Reserve boasts of 45 Tigers,150 leopards, has a massive presence of Indian Gaur, Wild Bear, spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Cheetal, Sambhar, countless wild boars, reptiles, wild dogs and other wildlife.