KAZIRANGA, Nov 27 - Keeping up sustained efforts to maintain the co-existence of wild animals and people living in the fringe villages of the Kaziranga National Park-cum-Tiger Reserve, The Corbett Foundation has come up with an innovative measure of modification of existing cattlesheds, which normally remain very much vulnerable to wild animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger and leopards, a lesson which this foundation learnt from a project called Snow Leopard Project already implemented in the Spiti valley at Kargil.
The Corbett Foundation has provided chain-linked fence to the fringe villagers who were below poverty line and remained affected by wild animal attacks on cattle and other livestock. Already 200 households based on their conditions were selected at Gokhanibor and adjoining areas of Kaziranga.
The reaction which this correspondent received from the fringe villagers at Gokhanibor area adjacent to Kaziranga National Park was very inspiring. �We had lost one female cow two years back. We had no option.�
�Even if we keep our cattle and livestock inside our dwellings, the big cats including tigers cleverly enter our home and take away our cows and goats. But now atleast we can sleep properly at night following the erection of chain-linked fence at our cattle shed which is hard and will prevent tigers and other big cats from taking our domestic animals,� said Ranu an old lady living in the fringe areas of Gokhanibor.
Speaking to this correspondent, Dr Naveen Pandey said that already 200 bundles of such chain-linked fence wire had been purchased to support the 200 households for modification of their cattlesheds, adding that last year only 35 households had been covered in Dihingia Pam and Gokhanibor areas, adjacent to Kaziranga as an experimental study which proved to be a positive outcome. The project in Kaziranga has been carried out jointly by The Corbett Foundation and a Netherland-based organisation named Van Tiehoven Foundation.
Dr Pandey said that for the next six months, the efficiency of the fencing at the modified cattlesheds would be observed. He said that it was ensured that villagers after getting the support from The Corbett Foundation, fill up the gap of bottom of their modified cattle shed by earth filling so that a tiger or any other big cat cannot enter it. This will enhance better conservation efforts also, as villagers will not have to lose any cattle or other livestock and there will be better co-existence between man and animals, as the fringe villagers will help the wildlife NGOs and the Forest department in the conservation work.