As attempts to poach wild animals, illegal tree felling, and other crimes related to wildlife continue to take place during the lockdown, the forest department in Nagpur has increased patrolling to keep a hawk’s eye on the offenders.
The officials said that the employees of the department are also going out of their way to provide essential commodities and food packets to the people dwelling in the forest interiors in a bid to mitigate their hardships.
Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Nagpur, Prabhu Shukla, said the department staffers have been fighting as “silent warriors” for the protection and conservation of wildlife and forest during these testing times.
“Recently, we foiled two attempts of poaching of wild animals and arrested seven persons. In the last two months, 15 incidents of forest fires were reported. The department is patrolling the forest areas round-the-clock to thwart any attempt of illicit tree felling and similar offences,” he said.
“The Nagpur transit treatment centre annually admits around 600 injured animals. But during the lockdown period alone, as many as 100 injured animals were rescued. They are undergoing treatment at the centre,” Shukla said.
The department staffers have also been cleaning water holes for animals, monitoring the movement of tigers and taking regular steps to avoid man-animal conflict in the highly vulnerable areas, he said.
He also informed that the employees of the Nagpur forest department are going beyond their designated work and providing essential commodities and food packets to the people residing in remote forest areas.
“More than 5,000 ration kits and food packets were distributed in Umred, Hingna, Seminary hill ranges and other areas. Masks and sanitisers were also distributed in Khapa, Hingna and other forest ranges for the safety of people,” Shukla said.
“We are also raising awareness about issues like social distancing and hygiene through public announcement systems in 400 remote villages,” he added.