Walkers, joggers at Lalbagh hounded by stray dogs

ನಗರದ ಲಾಲ್‌ಬಾಗ್‌ನ

Hundreds of walkers and joggers hitting the muddy tracks of Lalbagh Botanical Gardens for a healthy lifestyle, are haunted by the stray dog menace. Roaming all over the park, these dogs have turned out to be the latest nemesis of walkers and joggers, who are often seen walking with sticks to protect themselves. 

Joggers running along the lakefront, pigeon house and Siddapur gate have to contend with these stray dogs almost on a daily basis. Fed up with this, many walkers have appealed to the Horticulture department to come to their rescue. According to walkers, there have been several incidents when stray dogs have bitten morning walkers and joggers.

“One needs to be very careful while running along the lake. Suddenly, a pack of dogs come chasing you from the bushes. Running early in the morning is very dangerous as the paths are poorly lit and dogs come chasing you from nowhere,” explained Madhusudan, a morning jogger at Lalbagh and a resident of Hanumanthanagar.

Recognising the problems of morning walkers and joggers, Deccan Herald & Prajavani carried out a survey among a cross-section of walkers-joggers last week ahead of Janaspandana programme scheduled for November 25. More than 35 walkers complained of the stray dog menace. In fact, the walkers' associations have also appealed to the Horticulture department to ensure that the park is free of the stray dog menace. However, the officials have been facing legal hurdles to put an end to the problem.

“Besides legal hurdles, any stringent action would leave animal lovers miffed and we may have to face their wrath. But we have been working on these complaints and with the help of BBMP, almost all dogs had been caught and neutered. Over the years, their numbers have been coming down,” explained an official of the Horticulture department.

Attendants at the park revealed to DH that most of these dogs sneak into the park in search of food. “While a few prey on ducks in the pond, others come to eat the leftover food littered by visitors. As vendors too keep dumping food waste behind the geological monument, dogs are active around the lake and Siddapur gate. You can shoo a few away by pelting stones, but some don't budge till you wield a stick,” revealed a security guard near the lake area.

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