Lockdown: Limping normalcy brings back limping cows

Coronavirus lockdown: Limping normalcy brings back limping cows on Kyathanamakki hills

Cows grazing on the lush green Kyathanamakki hills.

Strange as it may seem, the lockdown had succeeded when others had failed to prevent injuries to hundreds of cows grazing along the grassy hillocks in Kyathanamakki hills, near Horanadu in Kalasa.

The serene hills, covered in lush greenery, is home to over 2,000 cows abandoned by their owners. The rolling hills hugely popular for its breathtakingly beautiful views of sunrise and sunset also draws many tourists.

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"The cows limping painfully while grazing was a common sight before the lockdown," said villagers and ANF (Anti-Naxal Force) personnel, who regularly camp at Kyathanamakki hills as part of their combing activities.

On closer inspection, ANF personnel found that the cows were limping due to the blood oozing from wounds caused by shards of glasses. It did not take too long for villagers and ANF personnel to realise that the cows were injured by the irresponsible acts of the tourists.

"Many young tourists visiting Kyathanamakki hills take sadistic pleasure in smashing the empty liquor bottles into smithereens. It is these glass splinters which pierces through the tender hooves of the cows causing them unbearable pain and even leading to their death," ANF personnel said.

ANF personnel and villagers said they tend to minimise the sufferings of the limping cows by removing glass pieces and administering first aid. When the lockdown was enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus, the flow of tourists to Kyathanamakki hills was reduced to a trickle.

"Thus, the number of cows limping had dipped to zero,” vouched the residents.

The happiness did not last long. With lockdown being relaxed and restrictions on the inter-district movement being lifted by the government, cows were seen limping again in pain.

The demand of the villagers to set up a check-post to stop tourists from carrying liquor bottles to Kyathanamakki hills has fallen on deaf ears.

Despite repeated calls, DCF (Koppa) and ACF remained incommunicado.

Deputy Conservator of Forests (Kudremukh Wildlife) P Ruthren told DH that he had received complaints in the past too on how irresponsible acts of tourists were harming the cows and also nature.

"There are chances of wild animals being injured by the glass pieces," DCF said and added that as Kyathanamakki hills is close to Kudremukh National Park he would facilitate an inter-district coordination meeting to ensure that the cows were not harmed.

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