BENGALURU/MYSURU: Despite a strict ban order prohibiting gatherings inside wildlife reserves, more than 100 people were “allowed’’ to visit the Kanive Malappa temple inside Maddur range of Bandipur Tiger Reserve. They offered prayers on Monday and consumed food which they had brought.
Sources said that people from adjoining villages visited the temple and offered prayers to the deity and partook of the meal, leaving behind leftovers, which wildlife experts say could infect animals. This, in spite of the order by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on June 4, to protect wildlife from Covid infection.
The order clearly bans movement of the public inside tiger reserves. Bandipur, one of the largest reserves, has a population of over 120 tigers. It may be recalled that recently, the putrefied carcass of a tigress was found in Maddur range. Two lions that were diagnosed with Covid were found dead in Vandalur Zoo in Chennai.
A wildlife expert said on condition of anonymity, “We were working with the authorities to relocate a temple, but we hit some hurdles. The authorities should go ahead and relocate these religious places.’’