Water scarcity killing animals in Rajasthan

With water drying up in ponds and reservoirs across Rajasthan, there are alarming reports of monkeys, chinkaras and cheetal deer dying as they stray out of their habitat into nearby villages.

In the last three days, at least 13 monkeys have died because of water scarcity in Shahabad in Baran district, close to the famous Ranthambore National Park.

Similar reports have come in from the border district of Barmer where various species of deer are commonly found. As many as 22 chinkaras, or gazelles, died of dehydration after they were unable to find drinking water.

There have also been reports of cheetals, the Indian spotted deer, dying in a forest in Chittorgarh district over the last few days.

“Eleven cheetals have died in a small forest near Chittorgarh fort last week,” added Babulal Jaju, in-charge of the NGO People for Animals (PFA) in Rajasthan.

He said the state government should make proper arrangements for water in the areas where these animals live.

Rajasthan boasts of two tiger projects, one bird sanctuary and 25 wildlife sanctuaries. These protected areas offer great eco-tourism opportunities for both domestic and foreign tourists.

Animal rights activists are not fully convinced with the forest department’s plan for supplying water through tankers and tubewells.

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