The Forest department is attempting to treat an aged female gaur that was found in a weakened state near Fern Hill in Udhagamandalam on Monday morning.
The animal was found near a railway guest house in Nunthala Beat by local residents, who realized that the animal was unable to stand on its legs and informed the forest department.
Assistant Conservator of Forests (Nilgiris division), K. Saravanakumar, said that Dr. Rajamurali, a government veterinary doctor in Udhagamandalam was treating the animal with medication. He said that the condition of the animal will be monitored by forest department staff who will try to ensure that people do not stray too close to the animal.
The incident has once again underlined the need for a dedicated rescue, rehabilitation and treatment center for wildlife in the Nilgiris district, with conservationists noting that in the recent past, other animals too that have been found injured have been only treated on site by the forest department, and in very rare cases, have been sent to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai for further treatment.
N. Sadiq Ali, Founder of the Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust (WNCT), said that the number of negative interactions between humans and animals in the district was only set to increase in the coming years.
“The Nilgiris is a biodiversity hotspot that requires a dedicated facility where injured animals can be treated quickly and released back into the wild,” he said, adding that a dedicated animal ambulance also needs to be in service in districts where tiger reserves were located to deal with emergencies and to treat injured wildlife.
When contacted, State Forest Minister and Coonoor MLA, K. Ramachandran, said that there are plans to set up a rescue and rehabilitation center in the Nilgiris, and that steps to expedite the construction of such a facility would be undertaken.