A rescued deer (Pic courtesy Karma Tshering Forest Ranger I, Paro)

Forest officials rescue increasing number of animals

Blame it on the increased human population, disintegration of habitat, fleeing from predators or other factors,but many wildlife species in the country are increasingly reported to be coming in direct confrontation with humans and their pets. This has led to only one result, wildlife getting either killed or injured.

This is evident from the numerous cases of wildlife being attacked in Paro alone. The forestry officials in the dzongkhag keep records of wildlifebeing attacked by pack of dogs or injured by humans. They have been responding proactively to such calls and were able to rescue many of the injured wildlife. But in few cases, the rescue came a little too late or the injury was too grave.

As per records maintained by the Paro forest office, for little less than a year from the first incident in September last year till the latest incident on September this year, it is mostly herbivore species primarily sambar and other deer that dominate the list. The record unveils that from the 21 incidents they recorded; it involved 14 incidences of deer and seven individual of sambar in conflict.

While segregating in male or female categories, it is mostly the female sambar, six, despite the fact that they do not have antlers, recorded in the list. But in case of deer , seven each, both sexes are equally involved.

All thanks to the timely report and the respond from the officials, many survived. A majority of 13 out of of 21 rescue operations were successful. Five sambars, from the seven reported were released back into their habitat after medications, with only two death. In case of deer, eight survived from the lot. Few cases were referred to animal rehabilitation centre at Taba in Thmphu.

The wild animals reported to have come in conflict sustained various injuries. From atleast the report, the injuries included the cuts, bites and wounds on thigh, back, tail neck and other parts of the body. The intensity of injuries also included head damage, laceration, broken leg, dislodged horn, etc.

However, all the wild animals rescued weren’t lucky to escape from the clutch of the death. Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained or the stress that they undergo, from 21 rescue attempts, eight of the rescued wildlife died. Few died even after desperate effort and medication were administered, while one breathed its last during the transportation. A majority die shortly after rescue.

According to forest ranger Karma Tshering with SFWS in Paro, during rescue operations, wildlife succumbs to death more from the stress than the injuries. He said that most of the wildlife species, having been in the wild, are not accustomed to the human dominated world, and are easily stressed when coming in contact with one.

“As soon as the people and pets appear, they get extremely nervous, frightened and panicky,” he added, the wild animals can’t help running amok and in doing so, they hit themselves against objects. He also added that most of the structures in our domain are not familiar to them, hence the wildlife can easily injure themsevles by running against the objects or structures.

Further, Karma Tshering also said that the rescue team in the field lack the advance tools or no tools to rescue wildlife with minimal injuries and send them back to their habitat as safely as possible.

Pari reports of sighting injured wildlife from places like Dotey, Gabjana, Shari, Tsendona, Tsento Nyemizampa, Lango, Jangsa and Khangkhu. It included places those near to the town and villages further into the proximity of the forests.

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