Palemar lays foundation stone for the Rs. 33-lakh complex
Earthworms are disappearing owing to use
of chemicals in agriculture: Minister
Concern expressed over frogs and sparrows getting extinct by the day
MANGALORE: The celebration of “Wildlife week” got off to a start with a number of animals getting shifted to new enclosures and foundation laid for a new Rs. 33-lakh veterinary, quarantine and post-mortem complex at the Dr. Shivaram Karanth Biological Park near here on Saturday.
Black bucks, barking deer and the nocturnal animals, which love to lie low during daytime, were shifted to new enclosures, which are said to be safer. The nocturnal animals are wild cats, civets, toddy cats, and leopard cats.
Minister for Ports and Environment J. Krishna Palemar laid the foundation stone for the construction of the complex, taken up under the assistance of Central Zoo Authority. Director of the park H.J. Bhandary said that the construction of the complex would be completed in four months.
Mr. Palemar said that the shift to chemical fertilisers and pesticides by farmers had led to disappearance of earthworm. “It is not the wise way of practicing agriculture. Even the frogs have disappeared from the farms. There was a time when some people were being engaged only to catch frogs. No such practices are seen now,” he said.
He said that the snake gardens (nagabanas) and sparrows were also disappearing by the day. They had a special role to play in preserving ecological balance, he added.
Earlier, Mr. Palemar saw two king cobras being brought by snake-catcher Ashok, who said they were rare and had a typical hood.
President of zilla panchayat K.P. Sucharita Shetty spoke. Three schoolchildren sang a refreshing invocation that described the Western Ghats and its rich forests. An attempt was made through the song at inspiring the people to understand the significance of trees and the need to protect them.
A painting competition was held for schoolchildren. More than 100 children from the schools around the park took part in the competition that focussed on wildlife and environment. Artist Ganesh Somayaji gave a start to the event by drawing a picture, “In celebration of nature’s bounty”, in just 10 minutes. It was a girl dancing with a peacock. Mr. Somayaji said number of students, who were good at art, could not take part this year because of examinations. The children had to wait for nearly three hours to start painting picture since the Minister and other dignitaries took a long time to complete their schedules in the park.
A quiz on wild life and games were held for schoolchildren. Prizes were distributed to the winners. Working director of the Park J.R. Lobo was present. Shekhar Shetty, who donated Rs. 50,000 for the drinking water facility in the park, was felicitated on the occasion.