Coimbatore

Feeding wild animals in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve continues

A monkey searching for food in a cover thrown by a visitor at Dhimbam on the Coimbatore – Bengaluru National Highway that passes through Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Erode.

A monkey searching for food in a cover thrown by a visitor at Dhimbam on the Coimbatore – Bengaluru National Highway that passes through Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Erode. | Photo Credit: GOVARTHAN M

The Forest Department’s efforts in creating awareness among the people against feeding wild animals, particularly monkeys, in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) go waste, as the dangerous practice continues till date.

The 14.6 km Bannari – Dhimbam stretch with 27 hairpin bends and the 12 km Dhimbam – Karapallam stretch of the national highway pass through the core tiger reserve area. While monkeys are found in large numbers on the ghat road and in Dhimbam, wild elephants frequently cross the road in Hasanur. Awareness boards warning motorists against feeding animals are placed along the stretch at many places. But, monkeys can be seen along the road waiting for food thrown by people.

A senior forest official said that visitors usually throw food wrapped in plastic bags that cause extensive damage to the protected forest area. “By feeding the animals, they harm the animals as well as the forest,” the official said. Despite monitoring by the department staff, plastic littering continues to be a serious environmental problem in the forest area.

Since monkeys are seen alongside the road, truck drivers, tourists and other passersby throw food on the road resulting in monkeys being hit by speeding vehicles. Leopards prey on monkeys and enter the road sometimes, said a Forest Department staff member who added that feeding wild animals was punishable under the Wildlife Protection Act.

The department has intensified patrolling on the Dhimbam – Karapallam stretch and has warned vehicle users against stopping their vehicles or using air horns while crossing the stretch.


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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 2:43:47 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/feeding-wild-animals-in-sathyamangalam-tiger-reserve-continues/article65579165.ece