KOCHI: The Forest and Wildlife Department has stated that the death of a Sambar deer at Sannidhanam in Sabarimala on December 28 was caused by consumption of huge quantities of plastic waste, indicating that the plastic menace in the area is out of control.
A report from the The Deputy Director (Project Tiger), Periyar West Division, stated that the postmortem report clearly pointed out that the death of the deer was caused by consumption of plastic. The report will be filed before the Kerala High Court soon.
In the postmortem, 4.7 kg of plastic waste was found in the viscera of the animal. The authorities confirmed that the deer consumed the plastic at ‘Poonkavanam’.
Plastic waste mixed with salty/sweet food articles attracts wild animals as the taste acts like ‘salt licks’ found in the forest.
The Department said it was unfortunate that despite the efforts by various agencies, including the Suchitwa Mission, Punyam Poonkavanam, Sabarimala Sanitation Society and the Ayyappa Seva Sangham, to manage waste disposal in Sabarimala, death of animals due to plastic consumption continues to occur.
The report stated that the Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple, had committed before the Supreme Court in 2005 that it would take initiatives for waste management in Sabarimala. “But, after 10 years, the TDB is yet to take any initiate in this regard. The High Court had directed the TDB to end commercialisation of the pilgrimage. Despite all the directives and communications with regard to waste management, the TDB remains inactive,” the report stated. The Department stated that death of the Sambar deer was the second incident in which a wild animal died after consuming plastic waste at Poonkavanam.
Sabarimala: The three-day annual procession carrying Thiruvabharanam, the attire in gold to be adorned on the idol of Lord Ayyappa during the Makaravilaku ceremony on January 15, will be taken out from Pandalam Valiyakoickal Sree Dharma Sastha temple on January 13. The Thiruvabharanam, kept in three sandalwood boxes, will be carried on head by a 12-member team after observing strict celibacy from the first day of the pilgrimage season.