Friday, December 9

West Bengal: Forest department, NGOs ready plans to help wildlife in distress

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Taking a cue from Amphan, when urban wildlife, particularly birdlife, took a hit a year ago, many wildlife activists have come forward with helpline numbers where one can contact and report about animals in distress after cyclone Yaas, that’s likely to make a landfall on Wednesday evening.

The state forest department has also planned a number of steps in case of emergency to safeguard wildlife in the Sunderbans region.
Joydip Kundu of city-based NGO SHER said that the idea is to rescue wild animals in distress and hand them over to the forest department. “Our focus will mainly be on wildlife like birds, snakes and mongoose. Our member, Kalyanmoy Das, who looks after our work in Howrah and Hooghly has come up with the initiative,” Kundu added.

According to him, district-wise details of phone numbers, where one can report about animals in distress, have been shared on SHER’s Facebook page and other social media platforms. “This is the nesting time of birds. We have shared contact details of our members and volunteers from districts such as Hooghly, Howrah, South and North 24 Parganas, Birbhum and East Midnapore among others,” Kundu added.
The South 24 Parganas forest division has readied three quick response teams for rescue, rehabilitation and prevention of wild animals’ straying and quick repair of nylon net fencing. A senior forester said that staff from vulnerable areas like Jambu Island and Chulkathi have been shifted to safer places.

“Four flood relief centres and trap cages and tranquilizer guns have been kept ready. 15 days of ration and medical kit have been distributed to all offices and camps and bamboo and nylon nets have been kept ready for emergency repair of net fencing,” said the senior official.

Source: Times of India

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