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Failure to fill water holes in forest turns fatal for deer
The death of a two-year-old deer, which had a fatal fall in a farm well near Wallajahpet on Wednesday is attributed to the failure of the forest department to fill the water holes (troughs), which were set up to cater to the needs of wildlife, in jungles.
It is said that while summer is inching towards its peak many water holes in forests are not filled up regularly. As a result, animals stray into nearby human settlements in search of water. In the Wednesday incident, the deer had reportedly strayed into a farm owned by Annamalai of Rafiqnagar from the nearby Ammur reserve forest in search of water and fell into the well and died. On information, foresters reached the spot and pulled out the carcass from the well.
Similarly, a thirsty deer that strayed into Vellore’s green circle area and fell into a ditch was rescued and released into the forest area near Christianpet adjacent to Katpadi. TN farmers association district president K Raja demanded that ground level tanks built for livestock to cater the water needs during summer at a cost of Rs. 20, 000 each under MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) be provided with water.
Another farmer speaking on anonymity said “what is the purpose of such tanks when officials do not fill them up with water regularly. In the Wednesday case, though there is a water source nearby, officials failed to fill it with water. Because of this, the animal entered the farm and met with a watery grave.” J Kavita of Otteri in Vellore, who regularly keeps water bowls for birds in summer, said “public awareness about helping animals/birds is very low. It is not only enough to build water tanks, but officials should also educate the public on its need and importance.”
“With the mercury hitting around 107 degrees over the last few days, it is possible that more animals will enter human habitations in search of water if officials do not take steps to cater to their needs,” a source added. Vellore DFO Bhargav Teja was not available for comment.