Leopards can now be kept at bay with ‘smart sticks’ that are equipped with light and generates an electric shock as soon as it touches anyone.
The stick, which blares a loud siren as well, costs between Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000 or even more.
Locals have been advised by forest officials to carry these smart sticks when they move into the forest areas.
Officials said that efforts were on to make the sticks available at subsidized rates to the local people.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Anil Kumar Patel said: “We have advised the locals to carry smart sticks during their visit to the farmlands. I have also written a letter to senior forest officials to find a solution through a detailed study to prevent incidents of man-animal conflict in the region. Leopards are mainly found in cane fields these days. The sugarcane is a cash crop and important for farmers’ livelihood.
“We have contacted a Delhi-based firm to buy smart sticks. In the first phase, we will provide it to our staff for patrolling. The sticks have stun guns along with a three-zone lighting, a panic button, in-built rechargeable battery and are also equipped with basic wilderness survival kit among other features. The stun gun can shock even the fittest of the leopards. This shock will immobilise the animal only temporarily, and will not cause any health effects. The panic button will help repel any chance of an encounter.”
Leopard attacks in the area have bene on the rise and more than six people were attacked by the big cat in different parts of the district in the past month.