Lack of experts plagues forest dept

Lack of experts plagues forest dept


Staff struggling to catch a bear in Hassan recently.DH photo

The department struggling to catch a bear and failing to catch a leopard alive has made them a laughing stock before the citizens.

The team members of the department led by Deputy Conservator of Forests or other senior forest official rush to the spot and offer condolences to the families of the victims whenever an incident concerning attack by wild animals takes place and even see to it that the compensation reaches the hands of the families earlier than expected.

However, its inability to handle the situation concerning attacks by wild animals is being ridiculed.

A bear entered Hassan city, while the leopard entered Lingarasanahalli in the taluk. In both cases, despite receiving information, the department officials arrived late on the scene, that too only with a net to catch the animals. No cages were in sight during the operation.

A few officials were also overheard saying that trained personnel weren’t available to catch the wild animals.

For the past few years, the district has witnessed an increase in human and wild animal conflict. Wild elephants attack and destroy crop worth thousands of rupees ever year.
In all four people have died and 11 other injured due to attacks by the elephants, bear and leopard. Two elephant calves have also lost their lives.

Hassan’s Shanthigrama, villages surrounding Channarayapatna, Arsikere, Alur regions are more vulnerable to leopard attacks. The Forest Department has received several complaints, but is yet to make  efforts catch the leopards.

The decreasing forest cover in the district are increasing the human-animal conflict. The forest department is ill-prepared to address these issues.

Even though it is necessary for a veterinarian to be present when a wild animal is being caught, the Forest Department can boast of only one veterinarian.

The department is need of a veterinarian and if there is any problem then he is called from Hunsur Taluk of Mysore District. According to Forest Department Officials, the department has sought eight cages and one jeep fixed with a cage. A team led by Divisional Forest Officer will also undergo training in Hunsur soon.