A female leopard sits inside a snow covered enclosure at Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary, outskirts of Srinagar.

A female leopard at Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary, outskirts of Srinagar.
Due to heavy snowfall in the Kupwara forests the wild animals have made their way towards villages in search of food, officials said on Saturday.

The district received fresh spell of snow on Friday and Saturday disrupting the vehicle movement on the border area roads in the district. The intensity of the snow increased on Saturday afternoon making the roads slippery.

"Due to heavy snowfall in the forests the wild animals have made their way towards villages in search of food," said a wildlife official. "At many places we have kept the cages to catch them, where people have complained the movement of the wild beasts," he said.

"On Friday night a bear was found in Zurhama village and when we heard, we kept a cage there to catch the animal," he added.

He said at present they have placed cages at many places in the district "where movement of wild beasts is felt." The cages are placed at Kani, Kalaroos, Badibehak, Ladervan and Zurhama. "On Friday morning we caught a leopard at district forest officer's office where a cage was put few months ago," said In-charge wildlife officer Kupwara Ghulam Mohidin.

The waste material thrown out by the army at Keegam camp "has increased the movement of the wild animals and the dogs have become easy target for them," the official said. "On Thursday a person was injured in a wild beast attack," Mohidin said, adding that they are sure that it was a wolf attack.

The people living in the nearby forest villages have been asked to remain vigilant.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Kupwara Khalid Jahangir told Greater Kashmir that the situation "is under control and every basic facility is being provided to the people without any problem."

The snow clearance is going on in the plain areas while as the border roads will be cleared of snow after improvement in the weather, he said. "Eleven machines have been deployed to clear the roads for the vehicular movement," he added.

The border road connecting Tangdhar with Kupwara town was closed on Friday after snowfall. "Around one foot deep snow accumulated at Sadhna Top which made the road slippery leading to the suspension of the vehicular movement," an official said.

"The roads connecting Machil and Keran are closed since the first spell of snow in the region on the New Year," official added.