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Wildcat, bear knocked dead on highways

Category : City |  Posted Date : 07/01/2013

TOI NAGPUR: Wild animals are bearing the brunt of haphazard road development. In the last two days, a sloth bear and a wildcat died after being knocked down by unidentified vehicles in separate incidents.

While the sloth bear is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, the wildcat comes under Schedule II.

In the first case, a female sloth bear died in the Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR) on the state highway passing through the core area of the reserve in the wee hours of Friday.

In the second incident, the wildcat was noticed on the widened national highway number 6 near Hardoli, 35km from here on Amravati Road on Sunday morning. The small carnivore was hit on the head and died due to excessive bleeding. The animal was lying by the road side. Its body parts were intact.

At 11.30am, range forest officer of Kalmeshwar D S Tekade was informed by a nature lover. As the spot comes under the Kondhali range, he informed RFO of Kondhali Vinayak Umale.

Umale sent the staff who reached the spot quite late. "After the panchnama, we buried the wildcat in forest land," said Umale. The patch where the cat died connects the Bor wildlife sanctuary and Katlabodi and Ringnabodi forests.

On November 23, 2011, a full grown leopard was also knocked dead in the evening near Bazargaon, three km from the spot where the cat died. "The corridor has been cut due to four-laning. It is surprising how forest officials blindly gave the go ahead to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to widen the road undermining wildlife concerns," said G B Mahure of the Bor Foundation.

Meanwhile, the death of the sloth bear in Melghat may turn tragic for her two cubs that were seen near the carcass after the incident. "The bear was hit near Semadoh. The animal suffered head injury and died on the spot," said Kishor Rithe, president of Satpuda Foundation and member of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) who visited the spot.

The villagers who have agriculture land close to the Sipna River bed which flows parallel to this highway said they saw two cubs around the carcass of the bear early morning.

Deputy conservator of forests (DyCF) S Yuvraj immediately rushed to the spot and registered an offence. The carcass was burnt in his presence. The Indore-Khandwa highway has claimed the lives of many wild animals and hence, there's a frequent demand to close the highway for night traffic.

"I hope the wildlife department acts urgently," Rithe said.


 
 
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