Water scarcity hits Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Wild animals move in search of water; food

Water scarcity hits Bandipur Tiger Reserve

With the beginning of summer and mercury levels soaring, the water sources at Bandipur Tiger Reserve have gone dry and water scarcity has started to have an impact on the animals, forcing them to move in search of food and water.

The district has not received rains as expected. Two years ago, when the district faced acute water shortage, the lakes and ponds were filled with the help of tankers.

There are 282 lakes in the Reserve and of this, only 35 per cent of lakes have water in them. If the situation worsens, the water sources will have to be filled with tankers, this year too.

Though some parts of the region has experienced rainfall, N Begur, Gundre and Omkar forest ranges did not get rains, forcing the wild elephants to move in search of water. According to forest officials, they are moving towards Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Kabini backwaters.

The tiger population at the Reserve is more than 100. Water level at Tavarakatte, Hulikatte and Anekatte have started depleting, and are sure to completely dry up by April end.

If rains fail this year too, then the polluted water will have an impact on the lives of the animals.

There is also the fear of wildfires, which are common, proving detrimental. The bamboo bushes, which are the main source of food for the elephants too have dried up.

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