Overspeeding vehicles pose threat to quarantined animals at Vandalur

CHENNAI, JUNE 16. Overspeeding of vehicles on the Vandalur- Kelambakkam Road is posing a threat to the animals housed in the quarantine area of the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur. Wildlife lovers have expressed concern over the death of free ranging deer and other animals on the stretch.

Overspeeding has led to the death of deer, rabbits, jackals and mongooses moving freely outside the zoo premises.

What was once a bumpy and muddy road was recently relaid by the State Highways Department, and the ``vehicle population'' mainly comprises the tipper lorries heading for quarries in Kandigai area.

According to an official, the road originally passed through a Reserved Forest (RF) area.

As per the Forest Act, no vehicle or any other form of transport would be allowed to use an RF area.

Throwing the laws to the wind, the Highways Department laid the road, increasing traffic manifold and posing considerable risk to the wildlife.

The worst-affected are the animals in the quarantine area. Animals seized from illegal possession of individuals or those rescued while straying into human habitations are normally kept here.

The health of quarantined animals is periodically checked.

With the laying of broad roads, the number of vehicle plying on the stretch has increased considerably in the past few months, say the authorities.

A letter has been sent to the Highways Department to construct speed breakers.

But nothing has been done so far, say the sources.

It is very difficult to close the road for traffic now as it is a short-cut route to the Old Mahabalipuram Road.