The changes taking place in the forest eco system owing to the climate change has been leading to frequent straying of wild animals into human habitation in the forest areas of Sabarimala, Ranni, and Konni.
A tiger was caught on CCTV camera installed at Pampa in the foothills of Sabarimala on Monday night.
Deputy Superintendent of Police P.K. Jagadeesh told The Hindu that the camera recordings showed the tiger on the pilgrims’ path at Chelikkuzhi near the Pandalam Raja Mandapam around 10.28 p.m. on Monday.
The tiger was found guzzling water collected in a small earthen pit on the pathway and waited there for about 10 minutes before retreating into the nearby bushes. The Forest sources said the pug marks showed that it might be a female tiger in the age group of eight to nine years.
In recent times, Pampa, Nilackal, and Attathode reportedly showed growing incidence of wild animals straying into human habitations and workers’ camps from the drought-hit forest interiors in search of water.
Wild animals straying into the bordering villages has become common in the forest fringes of Konni and Ranni during the summer months. The spontaneous reaction of the panicky people to ensure their protection from wild beasts often resulted in the death of the wild animal.
According to villagers, instances of leopards, king cobras, and wild elephants straying into the villages along the forest fringes have become more frequent in recent times. Experts attribute this to the acute water scarcity and shortage of food.
Excessive human intervention in the forests have also led to depletion of green cover in many areas. The mushrooming of granite quarries along forest borders has led to drastic changes in the forest eco system, say experts.