When one hears the term ‘Uttar Pradesh’, then almost instantaneously the mind is swept away by an assortment of rather interesting imageries, such as inordinate temples, meandering cows, traditional sweets and a form of language where even using a cuss-word or not the politest of expressions sounds like a mini song, not so much an abuse.
One’s not exactly habitual of associating wildlife in any form of the imagination to any of Uttar Pradesh’s densely-populated cities, let alone any of the ferocious wild creatures. So let’s not bring in the question of leopards then.
Isn’t that right? But guess what, some of that cliched imagination is all set for a change, given a recent piece of news.
Apparently, here’s what’s happened. In a part of one of India’s most densely populated and should one also say, one of the most polarising states- Uttar Pradesh- there’s now a real possibility of a census being held pertaining to leopards of all things.
But here’s the thing. One hardly ever associates leopards in Bijnor, a small town and a small city for all intents and purposes, best remembered for being home to countless sugarcane fields and seasonal fruits and plenty of lush green farmlands.
And maybe, this incessant agricultural set-up has perhaps lent itself to being a breeding ground of leopards, so much so that, as seen in the past half a decade, news concerning the increasing man-to-wild conflict has regularly been a page 1 news in local media.
So what happens now, you might ask?
The first-ever leopard census shall be conducted in the state’s sparsely-populated destination in approaching September. Where the last two months serve an example, then as many as 40 separate cases of leopard sightings have been confirmed by the locals. Interesting?
Well, not so for the farmer-community that comprises much of Bijnor’s population 2 lakh population, as on present date. The wildlife officers and members of India’s respected forest department have been unsuccessfully explaining to the farmers that leopards aren’t to be fretted over and that the ‘wild’ creature isn’t to be feared.
But hey, it’s leopards, you know!
The above told it’s also confirmed that for the forthcoming September census, as many as 40 CCTV cameras shall be installed at different parts of the Bijnor city with an impetus to be given on tracking down the pugmarks.
So well, here’s the thing. If a visit to UP-West is in your agenda, or let’s say to the famous Corbett National Park, then you may have an extra motivation to travel through this quaint township. Growl!!