Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Intense patrolling around Gir reduces conflicts in festival

| Nov 9, 2016, 04.00 AM ISTDhari: The forest department carried intensive patrolling during the Diwali festival period from October 26 to November 5 around the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary to prevent illegal lion shows and unscrupulous entry into the forest by locals and outsiders.

Forest officers said that the efforts paid off as there were no major conflicts involving humans and wildlife during this period which generally witnesses heavy influx of people who try to see lions in whatever way they can.

The members of patrolling teams included trackers and chief conservator of forests (Junagadh Wildlife division) too.

Around 10 offences were registered in Gir West and Gir East division and Rs 80,000 was collected as fine from the offenders.

"We caught people who came from Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and other places while they were trying to enter the Gir forests to see lions. We caught them in various forest ranges including Talala," said Pradeep Singh, deputy conservator of forests, Gir (West) division.

"We have observed that people from outside the Gir visit nearby villages to see lions with the help of locals and they try to enter the forests or go close to lions. Therefore, we embarked on massive patrolling where all our staff would go around villages and sensitive locations till 4am. As patrolling spread, it helped us control the menace," said Ram Ratan Nala, deputy conservator of forests of the wildlife division at Sasan-Gir.

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