Residents along Iruvazhinji river harried by otter attacks

The increasing number of river otters in the Iruvazhinji river have emerged as a safety threat to the local residents. Though more than 100 cases of biting by these carnivorous mammals have been reported so far from different parts of Mukkom and surrounding villages, the Forest Department is yet to find a lasting solution to the problem.

Leaders of a local residents’ group complained that the traps set by the Forest Department had been found useless for addressing the menace. Afraid of the attack of these animals, people were not even in a situation to bath or swim in the river, they said.

“The latest victims of the animal’s attack are three youths who were bathing in the river near Theyyathumkadavu in Kodiyathur last Friday. It is emerging as a threat and timely medication is also crucial for saving lives,” said members of “Ente Swantham Iruvazhinhi”, a collective of local environmental activists. “For more than a year, we have been facing this challenge,” they said.

Fed up with the Forest Department’s laxity, the environmentalists’ forum submitted a memorandum recently to Minister for Forests, A.K. Saseendran. The main demand they raised was to declare this animal as vermin and adopt appropriate controlling measures.

P. Unnikrishnan, a retired health inspector and social activist from Manassery, says the families residing close to the river could not even spend their leisure time on the river banks with the increasing attack of the animals. “The biggest trouble is obtaining the four shots of intradermal rabies vaccine. Many a time, the victims will have to reach the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital to get it,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 4:16:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/residents-along-iruvazhinji-river-harried-by-otter-attacks/article35158192.ece

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