Forest Dept. initiates drive against illegal fences, snares in Gudalur
May 16, 2022
The Forest Department has initiated a drive against illegally erected
electric and solar fences that were blocking crucial elephant and animal
pathways in the Gudalur forest division.
A few days ago, the department cleared a section of fencing in the AMV
private estate in Pandalur forest range near Devala town. Forest officials
told The Hindu elephants were being pushed towards Devala town while
passing through the area due to the fence. “As a result, problematic
human-elephant interactions could increase, leading to damage to houses and
property and in worst-case scenarios, to life,” said an official.
Though the estate is a few acres in area, a team of forest staff visited
the location and cleared around 15 meters in fencing to facilitate elephant
movement through the estate between the forests and swamp lands in Gudalur.
The action was initiated following directions from District Forest Officer
(Gudalur division), Kommu Omkaram.
The department has also initiated a clampdown against use of snares and
also poaching in the division, following recent reports that wildlife,
including gaur are being hunted for their meat by criminal groups from
Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and
Forests, tweeted a video of the drive against fences hindering elephant
movement. “The week begins with intensive patrolling and combing operations
by Forest field staff to look for and remove electric fences, snaps and
traps especially in Elephant migration routes and Tiger territories [sic].
This is critical to protect wildlife,” Ms. Sahu said in her tweet on Monday.