Kukshi (Dhar district): Forest department swung into the action after few villagers from Loni village falling under Kukshi forest area reported presence of a leopard on Sunday late night. Teams of forest department laid traps at different places for the big cat in the area to avoid human-animal conflict.
Villagers who claimed to have seen leopard informed tehsildar Sunil Kumar Dawar who then informed forest department. After getting information, forest department teams visited different places in search of pug marks and finally found them near Saal Kheda village. Based on this, team put cages and traps in the area. Forest department deputy ranger Devendra Rathore said search is still on in the area.
Recently, Madhya Pradesh was declared leopard state following 60 per cent rise in leopard numbers in four years. Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of leopards -3,421 followed by Karnataka - 1,783 and Maharashtra -1,690. Leopard population increased in all states of central India compared to previous estimates of 2014.
Though leopards are reclusive, they are venturing into human habitation because of dwindling prey base, habitat loss and poaching. There, it preys on dogs, sheep, goats and young cattle. Occasionally, it attacks humans, particularly children and women.