Rajasthan: With no security wall, Panther run over by vehicle near Mukundra Tiger Reserve

Forest department’s negligence revealed, several wild animals killed in last few years.

Jaipur: Rare wild animals are dying after being run over by trains or vehicles due to negligence of the Rajasthan forest department. On Tuesday night, a 2-year-old female panther was run over by a vehicle near Sagas Ji Mandir close, to gate number 4 of Thermal. Besides this, an adult male sambhar was run over by a train near Kamalpura in Mukundra Tiger Reserve.

Probe by Bhaskar reveals forest dept’s negligence

Investigation by Bhaskar into both the accidents has revealed forest department’s negligence. Even after the creation of Mukundra Tiger Reserve, security wall could not be built on both sides of road up to 2 km in the Thermal area even after six years. Therefore wild animals easily set out on the road. About Rs 2.50 crore would be needed to build a 12 feet high wall. There is movement of nearly 50 panthers and bears in the area, and three panthers have already died in the last nine months. On May 10, a 2-year-old panther was run over by a train near Mala Chowki close to Darrah. A broken tail tiger and a bear were earlier run over by trains in Mukundra.

Harish, who runs a dhaba in the area, said that the female panther used to cross road daily at about 7 in the evening as she returned to Thermal area early in the morning. He said that the panther used to cross the road near Sagas Ji Mandir, where she was run over.

Leopard proof fencing only option, says expert

Daulat Singh Shaktawat, retired DCF and wildlife expert said, “In view of the movement of panthers and other wild animals in the Thermal area, the forest department and Thermal administration should build a leopard proof fence here and take measures to increase prey base. Fencing in tiger reserve area is also needed to save animals from being run over by trains.”

“We are serious about protection of wild animals. A 400-meter long wall would be built on the down line from Abli Meeni ka Mahal by February. We shall again write to the railways for the fencing and also ask them to run trains at slow speed,” said Dr T Mohanraj, DCF, Mukundra Reserve.