‘Need for immediate steps’

Three tuskers under Athgarh forest die recently

Animals come out of their habitats for water

CUTTACK: The recent death of three tuskers under Athgarh forest division of the district provides enough indication that more such mishaps are likely during the ongoing summer season in the elephant corridors of the State forest. Wildlife experts believe that acute drinking water crisis in forests may drive animals out of their natural habitat which leads to their poaching.

“If adequate measures are not taken immediately, more animals would fall prey to such poaching,” says State Wildlife Society secretary Biswajit Mohanty. He believes that the situation in most forests of the State is “alarming” due to shortage of drinking water for animals.

It has already been reported that many animals have been spotted foraying out of their natural habitats in forests of Keonjhar, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur, Nayagarh and Kalahandi forests in search of drinking water. Animals like deer, sambar and elephants are falling easy prey to poachers, which is a threat to wildlife population of the State, say forest officials.

Wildlife experts have expressed concern saying that no tangible measures have been taken yet to meet the water requirement of the animals even in some reserve forests. The elephant population is going to suffer the most as these animals require more water for drinking and bathing and they can travel any distance in search of food and water, says Mr. Mohanty.

Cry for attention

The elephant corridor of Keonjhar, Narasinghpur, Athmalik, Dhenkanal, Satkosia and Pallalhara needs immediate attention, as more and more pachyderms would step out of their natural habitat that may cause concern for the safety of life and property, Mr. Mohanty warned.

Wildlife experts have suggested that a regular review of the water sources in the forests should be made and proper steps should be taken to maintain the different water sources like rivers and streams in the deep forests so as to help the forest officials to monitor the availability of water for wildlife population.