Andhra Pradesh

Wildlife is on a roll in Tirupati

With human activity coming to a halt, wild animals are making forays into areas that were off-limits to them earlier in the temple town.

While a similar trend is being witnessed in many parts of the world, Tirupati deserves a special mention as it is nestled amidst the Tirumala hills, which form part of the Seshachalam biosphere reserve.

In the last few days, residents of Alipiri have frequently sighted spotted deer, sambhar and wild boars in large numbers. Institutions dotting the Saluva Narasimharaya Road (Alipiri-Cherlopalli bypass road) such as Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sri Venkateswara Vedic University and Regional Science Centre have reported forays by such wild animals on to their campuses.

Similarly, spotted deer and sambhar were sighted at dawn or after dusk near the SVIMS doctors’ quarters and Sri Padmavati Medical College for Women (SPMCW).

"Our students have sighted wild boars and deer moving in herds of a dozen and more," said SV Vedic University Vice-Chancellor S. Sudarsana Sharma. He said that the animals were venturing into and out of the campus, as the traffic-prone road that separates the campus from the forest remains deserted.

"When our university buildings were built during 2008-11, a lot of snakes and scorpions came out of hiding. We told workers not to harm the reptiles. Even today, our Vedic students find snakes on the campus, but they have been told not to harm them as they are fellow living beings. The Vedas state that every creature has an equal right to live on this earth," Prof. Sharma said.

After the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) decided to stop darshan of Lord Venkateswara, the ghat roads, which became empty barring the occasional movement of government vehicles, see several herds of spotted deer in large numbers. Videos of herds of deer on the Tirumala ghat roads have gone viral on social media.

While the rise in animal activity is a welcome sign, officials worry that once human activity resumes, there might be casualties on the roads. "As of now, the movement of deer on campuses will have no impact. But when vehicles begin plying again, the animals might run helter-skelter causing casualties," said S. Saravanan, Chief Conservator of Forest (Tirupati Wildlife Management Circle).


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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 4:56:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/wildlife-is-on-a-roll-in-tirupati/article31193521.ece

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