Indian gaur dies of injuries likely to have been caused by explosive

Farmers in the area use crude explosives to target the animals

January 30, 2021 01:30 am | Updated 01:30 am IST - UDHAGAMANDALAM

A 10-year-old Indian gaur, that sustained grievous injuries to its jaw, suspected to be from a crude explosive, succumbed to its injuries on Thursday.

The gaur was injured around a week prior to its death, and the Forest Department had been attempting to treat it, but with little success. This is the fourth such incident in the last few years, around Wellington in Coonoor, where Indian gaurs have been seriously injured by the explosives.

N. Sadiq Ali, an environmentalist and founder of the Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust (WNCT), said farmers living around the area were using crude explosives to target wild boars, known to crop raid. “Unfortunately, it is not just wild boar that are killed by these explosives, but also other herbivores such as the Indian gaur,” said Mr. Ali. He added that the use of such explosives had resulted in the death of other wildlife too in the district, such as elephants in Pandalur a few years back.

“The Forest Department needs to use local informants to find farmers and residents using such explosives and track locations from where they are being brought. Offenders should be booked under the Explosive Substances Act to set an example and discourage such crimes from occurring,” he added.

Special teams have been formed by the Department to look into the incident. Coonoor ranger S.M. Sasikumar said the Department had got permission to fit cameras in the area to monitor the movement of people. “We hope the cameras can help catch the perpetrators, or at least serve to discourage people from using explosives while trying to deal with wildlife endangering their crops,” said Mr. Sasikumar. He said a post-mortem was performed. He added that results were awaited to confirm the cause of death. “Based on the nature of the injuries, it seems like it could be due to the use of an explosive,” he said.

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