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After elephants, Coimbatore forest department staff now aim to end gaur attacks

The awareness was stepped up after the population of gaur increased and also a man from Sirukundra estate was killed and six people were attacked by gaur in the last two years.

Published: 26th May 2022 04:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2022 04:15 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Having raised awareness about wild elephant behaviour, which helped mitigate human-animal conflict in Valparai, officials of Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) are focusing on sensitising locals on about gaurs.

Forest staff tasked with the job are requesting tourists as well as locals not to approach the animal for taking selfies since the chances of the animal aggressive and attacking are high. According to sources, close to 2,000 gaur found in Valparai, Manomboly, Ulanthy and Pollachi forest ranges, which come under the Pollachi forest division,  during the premonsoon (winter) census in December 2021. Of this, more gaurs were found in Valparai.

The awareness was stepped up after the population of gaur increased and also a man from Sirukundra estate was killed and six people were attacked by gaur in the last two years in Valparai and Manomboly forest ranges alone.

"Following the success of round-the-clock night patrol, we have successfully prevented wild elephants from entering human habitations. It has been one year since there was human death due to wild elephant attacks. Now we are concentrating on preventing gaur attacks and deaths," forest officials said.

"Most of the gaur attacks on humans occurred when the animal was with calves. Unlike elephants, understanding about gaur is less among the tourists and local people. Hence, instructions have been given to our staff wherever the gaurs are roaming in large numbers in the plantation especially along the roadsides, to prevent people visiting close to the animals" he added.

Further, MG Ganesan instructed staff to ensure the safety of gaurs by asking the landowners to cover open wells apart from checking whether there are any illegal electric and solar fences in the division.

* Gaur is on the Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986

* It eats a total of 32 species such as green grass, young leaves, and soft shoots. It eats mostly the upper portions of plants, such as leaf blades, stems, seeds and flowers of grass species

* Male weighs close to 1500 kg and female gaur over 700 kg. Both have horns



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