KALAIGAON, June 6 � Wildlife lovers of Udalguri district have expressed serious concern at the alarming growing rate of killing and injuring wild animals and birds in the district. As a result of unabated destruction of forest cover and encroachment on forest lands, particularly near Indo-Bhutan border, wild animals including elephants have started roaming around human settlements once belonged to them.
As per information received from villagers residing near Indo-Bhutan border, a wild deer was recently killed by villagers of Section No. 5 of Hattigarh tea garden. Forest department could not confirm the incident as the deer was immediately eaten up. In another incident, a wild tuskar with grevious injury on its eye and leg was seen moving at Kundarbil last week.
According to villagers, the injury could have been caused by arrows, spears or gun. Bankim Sarma, DFO, Dhansiri Forest Division, told this correspondent that efforts were on to track the injured elephant. He added that it was difficult to track an injured elephant on international border as it could be moving between two countries. Members of two local NGOs namely � Pigmy Hog Eco-Tourism Society, Bornadi and Green Valley Forest and Wildlife Protection Society, Khalingduar Reserve Forest also have been working hard for the conservation of flora and fauna in the district.
It is worth mentioning that an awareness meeting was held at Staff Club of Hattigarh tea garden recently. The awareness meeting was sponsored by WWF (India), Tezpur; Dhansiri Forest Division, Udalguri and Hattigarh TE management. Dr Anupam Sarma and Hiten Baishya of WWF; MP Sarma, ACF, Udalguri and Haladhar Kalita, Range Officer, Nonai Range Office; Rana Baruah, Senior Manager of Hattigarh TE attended the awareness meeting. They explained about behaviour of wild animals, particularly wild elephants and requested villagers to take a few safety measures by not coming close to them so as to restrict man-elephant conflict in the district which had caused deaths of more than a dozen elephants and human being.