Dholes injured goats near Vaniyambadi, says Forest Department

Published - July 10, 2024 11:16 pm IST - TIRUPATTUR

Forest officials inspect the pug marks of a wild animal at the coconut grove at Devasathan village near Vaniyambadi town in Tirupattur, on Wednesday.

Forest officials inspect the pug marks of a wild animal at the coconut grove at Devasathan village near Vaniyambadi town in Tirupattur, on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A pack of dholes, also known as Asiatic wild dog, and not leopard, have injured a herd of goats in a coconut grove at Devasathan village near Vaniyambadi town in Tirupattur, on Wednesday.

Officials of Forest Department (Vaniyambadi range) said that the coconut grove belongs to a local farmer, J. Rajesh, 50, who has been rearing goats and milch cows in his five-acre farmland. He also has a poultry farm in the farmland. It was at 6.30 a.m. when Mr. Rajesh went to his farmland, he noticed eight goats in a shed were injured.

Immediately, he alerted local police and forest officials, who inspected the spot. Devasathan village is located around 10 km from Thumbari Reserve Forest (RF). “We inspected the area thoroughly. We also saw pug marks of a wild animal. But that does not belong to a leopard,” K. Kumar, forest range officer, Vaniyambadi, told The Hindu.

Forest officials said that most of the injured goats were kept in a shed along with its herd. Pug marks were found to a distance of around 20 metres in an open area near the shed. Unlike leopard’s footprints, pug marks identified were small in size. Also, nail markings were also found along with pug marks, indicating that the wild animal might be a dhole or a pack of it.

Forest officials also examined injury marks in the goats. Most of the injuries were not deep with small teeth like penetration have been noticed. As per studies, leopards usually take prey to its hideout rather than leaving in the wild.

Nevertheless, forest officials have installed three camera traps in the farmland to capture the movement of the wild animal for the next three days. A 10-member forest team led by Mr. Kumar will survey the village and nearby RFs. The initiative to fix cameras was mainly to dispel fear among residents in the area that the suspected animal was not a leopard.

A week ago, forest officials set up two camera traps in Chinna Pallikuppam village, which is located on the fringes of Kavapattur RF, near Vaniyambadi to capture leopard movement. The village was around three kms from Madakadappa RF where a three-year-old male leopard was released after it was tranquilized from his hideout near a school campus in Tirupattur town last month. Later, it was found a pack of dholes were involved in the attack of cattle in the village. Camera footage was shown to residents to dispel fear of a leopard among them.

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