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Gaur found near Bandhavgarh


WPSI news release
28 August 2008

Ironically - on the eve of an expensive translocation project - a herd of Gaur (otherwise known as Indian bison) have turned up close to Bandhavgarh National Park.

About ten animals have been seen by villagers in Shadhol district, Madhya Pradesh, for the past month. Farmer Lalan Kol, a resident of Jugwari village, complained to the forest department that the gaur had been raiding their crops. He said that the gaur came down from the Maikal hills fed on their crops and returned to the hills in the early morning. Jugwari village is in Shahdol Range, South Shahdol Division, about 20 km from the district headquarters. Forest officers did not visit the site as they said that this was impossible and that there were no gaur in the area.

On Tuesday, 26th August, a villager from Keraha'tola reported that he had seen a dead gaur. Range Officer Hirala Sharma and other forest officials visited the spot on 27th August and confirmed that it was indeed a gaur. It was an old animal, he said, and probably a natural death since there were no apparent injuries on the carcass. The spot is less that 25 km from Bandhavgarh, as the crow flies. From here there is a direct corridor of forest cover to the national park, barring the Son River. The village of Ghunghuti, which is even closer to Bandhavgarh, has also reported the presence of gaur, but this could be the same herd.

The Madhya Pradesh forest department, with support from resort owners CC-Africa is about to embark on an expensive and risky translocation project. CC-Africa has provided the training of personnel in Africa and apparently the cost of transporting the animals. A small herd of gaur is to be moved from Kanha to Bandhavgarh.

Officials today confirmed that they would still go ahead with the project.









 

 

 

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