Trap cameras Credit: EastMojo image

Jalpaiguri: After repeated incidents of man-animal conflict in the Dooars region of West Bengal, forest officials have now installed trap cameras for the first time at Garganda tea garden.

The step has been taken a few days after a three-year-old child, Pooja Oraon, was killed in a leopard attack in the area, after the feline snatched her away from the lap of her mother at the Madarihat area of Alipurduar district on January 15.

The child’s mutilated body was found some 3 km from her house the next day.

This was the third such attack by a leopard in the region in the past one-and-a-half month.

Ujwal Ghosh, chief conservator of forests, said, “This is the first time eight cameras have been provided by forest authorities in a tea garden and has been set up to track the activities of leopard and other wild animals.”

He also added, “These cameras would help us know the exact number of leopards at Gardanga tea garden and its nearby areas. In all, 13 cages have been installed in the garden.”

In the month of December alone, two boys aged six and 12 years were killed in a similar incident at the Ramjhora and Dhumchipara tea gardens of Alipurduar district.

It is estimated that more than 4,000 leopards inhabit the districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar that are dotted with 283 tea gardens and large swathes of forest, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves.

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