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Wild animals come out of forests in search of water

D. Radhakrishnan
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Their population on the increase; habitat shrinking: official

A fawn resting at Thengumorahaada in the Nilgiris.– Photo: Special Arrangement
A fawn resting at Thengumorahaada in the Nilgiris.– Photo: Special Arrangement

Even as the district and civic authorities are now engaged in trying to find a solution to water problems in this hill station, concern is growing among forest officials, conservationists, and villagers over the dry conditions prevailing in forests. It is driving wild animals out into human habitations.

Many of the water sources in forest areas have dried out as both the South West Monsoon and North East Monsoon were deficient. Consequently wild animals are moving to fringe areas of their habitat and even into human habitations in search of water.

The Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, near here, is depending on water tankers to replenish check dams and troughs.

In adjoining areas, water is hard to come by. As a result, animals have started straying into human habitations. The fear of man-animal conflict escalating is growing.

District Forest Officer, the Nilgiris North, Ashish Kumar Srivastava, told The Hindu that the fragmentation of forests had put wild animals especially the large ones like the Indian gaur in a spot. On the one hand the population of wild animals is increasing and on the other, their habitat is shrinking, he said.Conservationist and wildlife photographer P.J. Vasanthan said that people in Thengumorahaada and Hallimoyar in remote part of the Nilgiris bordering Erode are frequently coming across wild animals. Many of the animals are depending on the Moyar river to quench their thirst.

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