Activists Urge Action As Wells Turn Into Death Traps For Wild Animals

File picture of leopard being rescued from a well in Nilgiris
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File picture of leopard being rescued from a well in Nilgiris

Highlights

  • In the Nilgiris district, wells and tanks left exposed by private persons and panchayats are showing to be death traps for wild creatures like as leopards, sloth bears, and gaur.
  • A five-year-old leopard was rescued from a fall in a residential area in Kotagiri on November 13.

In the Nilgiris district, wells and tanks left exposed by private persons and panchayats are showing to be death traps for wild creatures like as leopards, sloth bears, and gaur. After repeated advisories issued by the forest department to the owners. They were still failed to cover wells or tanks.

A five-year-old leopard was rescued from a fall in a residential area in Kotagiri on November 13. A sloth bear slipped into an open tank in Kotagiri previous month, but was able to get out using a ladder set up by forest officials. Wildlife advocates have appealed to the forest department, noting these instances were examples for the land owners to educate about the dangers these animals confront.

K Kalidass, founder of Osai stated that Nilgiris is a wildlife attraction where the pocket forest is high when linked to continuous forest area. During moving from one forest to another, there is a great risk of animals falling into wells or tanks. Landowners should be instructed by the state government to cover wells promptly with iron grilles to avoid these physically robust animals from falling into the wells/tanks.

N Sadiq Ali, founder of Wildlife Nature Conservation Trust (WNCT) said that animals falling down wells have been observed in the region for almost a decade. These must be covered right away in order to rescue the wild creatures. The open well is a danger not only to wild animals, but also to humans. If wells/tanks are shut, VAOs must investigate them and undertake measures to cover them.

Meanwhile, K Saravanakumar, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Nilgiris Forest Division explained that one or two wells are not covered, despite the fact that the maximum number of wells is covered and they will emphasise them once again.

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