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Wells brimming, Forest officials plan safety measures for wildlife

With wells near reserve forests brimming after the heavy downpour and wild animals like leopard and deer slipping into them, the State wildlife headquarters is working on a new standard operating procedure to ensure their safety

Wells brimming, Forest officials plan safety measures for wildlife
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A leopard being rescued from a well in The Nilgiris (File photo)

Chennai

“Last week, a leopard slipped into a well. It was rescued and later released into the wild. Certain protocols are already in place and we will soon deploy well equipped rapid response team in each vulnerable district,” Chief Wildlife Warden Shekar Kumar Niraj told DT Next. “We have asked the district forest officers to run campaigns to ensure that all open wells in The Nilgiris are secured with animal proof covers on the top,” the official said. When asked about the Gudalur tiger 23, he said the tiger’s health has improved a lot and a decision on its future would be taken by the state authorities soon.

According to Forest Department sources, the State has initiated multiple efforts to address the issues concerning wildlife and the safety of stray animals, which include the setting up of three rescue, treatment and rehabilitation centres (RTRCs) for wildlife in Coimbatore, Tiruchy and Tirunelveli districts. 

The injured, orphaned and stray animals would be scientifically quarantined, rehabilitated and then released into wild. The centres would also provide consultation and guidance to address man-animal conflicts. A detail project report (DPR) is being prepared, sources added.

Meanwhile, Environment and Forest Secretary Supriya Sahu issued an order to ascertain the impact of invasive plant species and remove them so that the original forest sholas are restored to provide better wildlife corridors and habitat for animals. The third approach is to improvise the scientific rescue and to protect the animals from slipping into wells, sources said.

Foresters are now attending the rescue of snakes in full swing and a team is also monitoring the crocodile movement along Cauvery river, as there are have been cases of crocodile straying into human settlements in Delta region, particularly Cuddalore, Tiruchy and Chidambaram.

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