Wild animals go hungry as frequent snow spells cause food scarcity
Srinagar, Jan 15:
Forget humans, wild animals are now bearing the brunt of frequent snow spells
in the valley.
Kashmir has been
facing frequent spells of snowfall since November 7, which has led to food
scarcity in jungles forcing animals to forage in the low-lying areas.
This can be
gauged by the fact that more animals have been driven back and rescued this
winter compared to previous year.
Government has also issued an advisory to sensitize the people living
near the forests areas. It lists the precautionary measures to be taken by them
when encountered with wild animals.
A document of
Wildlife Department accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveals that for the last
two months, 18 black bears have been driven back with three captured and
released in Shopian and Pulwama districts.
leopards have been driven back with one captured and released. The porcupines
have also drifted to the human habitats with three of them captured and
released in twin districts of South Kashmir.
“In the winter
months of 2017-18, eight black bears were driven back and two captured and
released in these two districts. In the same season, two leopards were driven
back and one captured and released whereas in 2018-19, nine black bears were
driven back and one captured and released,” reads the document.
An official of
the Wildlife Department said the wild animals can come in the contact of humans
when food is not readily available in the forest areas.
animals like Hangul and Grey Himalayan Langur are mostly dependent on plants,
grasses and leaves. The thick layers of snow block their access to the food due
to which they can descend to the low-lying areas. In these circumstances,
Hangul can also become an easy prey to Leopards,” he explained.
said in extreme situation, black and brown bears can go for hibernation. “The
Leopard being a carnivore may or may not get a natural prey. So it is also
likely that it will venture to the human habitats,” he said
Central, Altaf Hussain said that animals are naturally adapted to the climatic
conditions. “However, food scarcity can propel them to stray into low lying
areas. In such a scenario, we have resorted to artificial feeding. Like in Dachigham National Park, we are using
Willow Bachas. It refers to the branches of willow trees that are cut and tied
up in small piles in the autumn season. With the onset of winter, they are hung
from trees or scattered over so that Hangul can survive on it,” he said
that they also place fresh vegetables all over the place for the consumption of
wild animals. “Further, we dig large holes in the land and fill them with
water. This gives animals an access to water.”
Shopian, Intesar Suhail said the wildlife department is well-equipped to deal
with any emergency.
trained staff at hand, we are able to rescue the animals. In the recent stint
of snowfall, we received 3-4 calls from Pulwama and Shopian, where the animals
successfully were sent back to forest and no human casualty was reported,” he