Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary besieged by honeybees

Forest Dept. swings into action after bee attack on tourists

Forest Department officials are engaged in the task of driving away the large number of honeybees at the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, near Srirangapatna.

This comes in the wake of 12 members of a family from Bengaluru being attacked by bees during a visit to the sanctuary on Monday.

A 48-hour ban on tourist entry was imposed soon after the incident.

The sanctuary reopened on Thursday, with the ticket counter and boating point temporarily shifted to new spots as two huge hives were spotted nearby.

“We had to close the sanctuary for 48 hours, with prior permission of K.C. Prashanth Kumar, Mysuru Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), and Range Forest Officer (RFO) Ananyakumar,” said a senior officer of the Forest Department.

Move questioned

However, the decision to disturb the bees has been questioned by naturalists. They feel that since the bird sanctuary is home to numerous native and migratory birds, the department should strictly adhere to environmental norms. But, officials maintain that the decision was taken for the safety of tourists.

“We started the drive only after closing the sanctuary and using smoke to drive away the bees. The aim is to get the bees to shift to other trees,” the officer said.

Visitors increase

The sanctuary has been witnessing a significant rise in the number of visitors as it’s the holiday season and care is being taken not to disturb the ecosystem while driving away the bees, the officer added. The sanctuary on the banks of the Cauvery comprises of six islets and is considered to be highly suitable for avians to breed. Nearly 3.5 lakh tourists visit the sanctuary every year.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 3:43:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ranganathittu-bird-sanctuary-besieged-by-honeybees/article27153746.ece

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