Wild animals stray out of forest in search of water


Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal With the summer season sizzling and the Indian Meteorological Department predicting hotter days ahead, it is not just humans but animals too have been suffering from the heat. This has been particularly so for wild animals in the state’s forests where most water sources have dried up. Almost all small streams and ponds and lakes in most of the forests adjoining capital Bhopal are bone dry. To help wildlife tide over the water crisis, the forest department has built 16 artificial ‘saucer pits’ which are being filled through water tankers. The forest staff is particularly concerned about providing ample water in areas with tiger movement. Recently the movement of over one-and-half dozen tigers has been recorded in Ratapani area, including Kerwa and Kaliasot. The big cats are frequently seen close to the saucer pits. The forest department is transporting water through tankers into the forests to fill the saucer pits. The saucer pits are circular and cemented depressions that are a few feet deep. With a view to provide safety to wild animals, the Forest Department has installed trap cameras close to the saucer pits. Tigress T-123, along with her cubs, is spotted close to a saucer pit situated near Kerwa Forest Chowki. Her sister T-124 was also seen searching for water in the forests of Samaspura. However, such pits are limited in number and wild animals normally tend to make their daily treks to natural water sources such as ponds and lakes where they are used to finding water. Water saucer pits have been built at many places in the Bhopal forest division and these are being filled through tankers. Besides a watch on the movement of wild animals is also being maintained and trap cameras have been set up in areas with tiger movement.

Dr SP Tiwari, Forest Conservator, Bhopal