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Bison recolonising Jawadhu Hills, says forest official

Serena Josephine. M
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A male adult bison, which was found dead in the Mambakkam reserve forest area recently. — Photo: Special Arrangement
A male adult bison, which was found dead in the Mambakkam reserve forest area recently. — Photo: Special Arrangement

A large number of bison are once again returning to the Jawadhu Hills, especially the forest ranges of Tirupattur and Alangayam. The recent spotting of a male bison, which was killed by another bison during a fight, comes as evidence of the “resurrection” of the bison population in this part of the State.

According to a forest officer at Tirupattur, a male bison aged about 10 years was found dead at Serkkanur in Mambakkam reserve forest area four days ago. “It had been pushed away for nearly 200 metres after being attacked by the horns of the other bison,” he said.

On receiving information from villagers, the Forest Department staff went to the spot.

“A post-mortem was conducted and it was found that the bison had died of sudden shock. It had wounds caused by the horns of another bison,” the officer said.

A large number of bison seem to be moving in this area. Each herd consists of at least 10 to 15 bisons, he added.

Conservator of Forests, Vellore Circle, A.V. Venkatachalam, said there were a good number of bison in Mambakkam and Pudurnadu forest belts.

“Previously, the population of bison was confined to the Kalrayan reserve forest in South Arcot. The animals then colonised Thenmalai of Jawadhu Hills in Tiruvannamalai district recently. Now, they are spreading into the Jawadhu Hills of Vellore district, especially the Tirupattur and Alangayam forest ranges. The population had slowly gone down earlier but is coming back now,” he explained.

With this improvement in bison population, they could soon spread to the forest areas in Pernambut too.

The officer said that enhanced protection in the forest areas was the main reason for the “resurrection” of the bison population. “The movement of people in forest areas has drastically reduced and hunting activities are a thing of the past. So, the animals feel free. There is improvement in habitat for the animals, including availability of fodder and water. This has been achieved through various afforestation measures. The intensity of people inside forest and intensity of hunting has come down,” he added.

Mr. Venkatachalam said the two bisons were part of a huge herd. The fight between the two occurred prior to mating to establish might.

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