ADILABAD : There has been a increase in instances of wild animals entering human habitations in search of food and water over the last few years in the State. The Forest Department officials, as a result, are trying to increase the population of herbivores so that the predators — especially the big cats — would remain in the forests. In fact, to increase the area of grazing land for herbivores, officials at the Kawal Tiger Reserve have been growing grass in parts of the sanctuary and its surrounding areas. Grass is being grown across 850 hectares in erstwhile Adilabad district.
They have identified lands in Khagaznagar and Mancherial districts for the same. The idea is to increase the population of herbivores in the forest so as to prevent the big cats from attacking cattle in the neighbouring villages. At present, the forest officials are tracking the movement of four tigers in the region. Most of the big cats in the forest had migrated from the Tippeshwar and Thadoba tiger reserves in Maharashtra, by crossing the Penganga and Pranahita rivers, in search of food and water.
However, owing to the lack of preys in the region, the tigers are wandering into human habitations and attacking their cattle. Recently, in Pangidimadharam village under Chennur forest division, a tiger is suspected to have killed five cows. Speaking to Express, Jannaram Forest Divisional Officer C Madhava Rao said, “In the Kawal Tiger Reserve, grass is being planted across 400 hectares. Nearly 600 kg of grass seeds have been collected for cultivation. Herbivores are important to maintain balance in the food chain.”