Wildlife week: Animals lose ‘Amma’ care after Jayalalithaa’s demise

The usual extravaganza by the State Forest department in celebrating the wildlife week and the annual afforestation project is missing post the demise of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, an ardent animal lover.
Wildlife week: Animals lose ‘Amma’   care after Jayalalithaa’s demise
Former CM J Jayalalithaa during the naming ceremony of a tiger cub at Vandalur Zoo (file photo)

Chennai

Wildlife Week is celebrated all over the country in the month of October (2-8). This year the celebrations will be inaugurated by Forest minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan on Tuesday. 
“Throughout the week, people of all ages learn from experts through the seminars, lectures and workshops, but this year it will be a low-key affair. There are no major events like bird watching, tree planting, wildlife symposium,” said an official. When Jayalalithaa was there the annual rehabilitation programme for temple elephants also used to be gala event, now things have mellowed down, the official noted.
The department has also slowed down the massive afforestation project held to mark the birthdays of the late AIADMK supremo. Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s announcement of planting 2.20 lakh saplings in the Cyclone Vardah affected areas is again progressing at a snail’s pace, rued the official. 
However, when contacted, Forest department authorities said the annual wildlife week celebrations will be held in a grand manner. “Competitions for school students on wildlife paintings and quiz was conducted. The winners will be felicitated at a function scheduled at the Guindy Children’s Park on Tuesday. State ministers D Jayakumar, Benjamin and top forest officials have been invited to attend the event,” the official said, without revealing information about the other events and the large-scale tree planting drive usually conducted during the wildlife week. 
Livestock census begins 
The State government kick-started the 20th annual livestock census, on Monday. According to a press release from animal husbandry department, the census will be undertaken for a period of 90 days and will end by December 31, 2018. The door to door enumeration will be done using tablets by those with veterinary background. For this purpose, 3,887 enumerators, 795 supervisors and 130 scrutiny officers are engaged after adequate training, the release added. Tablet computers have been provided along with internet connectivity and power back up units for the present enumeration work. The data collected will be scrutinised by the supervisors and uploaded directly to the union government server.

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