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Leopard deaths: Signboards cautioning drivers to be installed on highways

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The Times Of India
23rd October, 2019 08:59 IST

Mysuru/ Hassan: The run over of a two-and-a-half year old leopard by an unidentified vehicle in Gowdigere village on Bengaluru-Mangaluru national highway near Channarayapatna town has prompted the forest department to come out with a plan to avoid such incidents. The officials have decided to install sign boards on two major national highways passing through Channarayapatna to ensure that vehicle drivers will be careful while driving at night.

The leopard was run over on Saturday night.

Range forest officer, Channarayapatna, H R Hemantha Kumar said that two national highways—Bengaluru-Hassan-Mangaluru and Mysuru-Arasikere-Shivamogga—pass through Channarayapatna range and vehicle movement is high during night on both roads. “Our idea is to install sign boards on major places where wild animals are often found crossing the road,” he said.

“We want reflective sign boards so that the drivers will slow down their vehicles,” he said.

In many forest areas, such sign boards are already installed. “But these leopards do not stay in those areas. They stay in mountain ranges spread across the district. More and more animals are getting killed due to speeding vehicles at night,” said another officer.

“It is not only Channarayapatna, even near Kunigal and Ramanagara, wild animals often come under wheels. As these roads can't be closed at night, other corrective actions are required,” said a senior officer.

Meanwhile, animal lovers feels that the need of the hour is to increase the surveillance in places where wild animal movement is high on the road. “The run over of wild animals has become common on Bengaluru-Mangaluru national highway till Gundya as the entire region is known for wild animal density. The need of the hour is to increase the surveillance and educate the drivers,” said Bhagyalakshmi, an activist from Mysuru.

In the past 45 days, three leopards died in road accidents, said an officer. “The first incident was reported from Kanakapura in Bengaluru rural while the second took place near Ajjampura in Chikkamagaluru. The third leopard died in Channarayapatna.

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