Special team to tackle animal intrusions

The forest department will raise a special cadre of veterinarians and sharpshooters to tackle the intrusion of wild animals into human habitats. The decision comes in the wake of the elephant menace and the emergence of a man-eating tiger.

Forest Minister B Ramanath Rai has approved the decision which was necessitated by the lack of veterinarians during the recent tiger attacks, sources in the department told Deccan Herald.

At present, the department seeks veterinarians on deputation from the animal husbandry department. But as the animal husbandry department itself does not have sufficient number of veterinarians, the forest department felt it should have a dedicated team of its own. Further, the veterinarians from the animal husbandry department are said to be ‘ill-equipped’ to handle pressure while tackling the wild animals.

The dedicated cadre would be trained and specialised in looking after the health of wild animals, especially when they were on the loose outside the forest boundaries, sources said. It will also consist of sharpshooters to trap and drive the wild animals back into the forest areas. The department will pick the sharpshooters from among its own forest range officers.

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