|Gaur found near Bandhavgarh
WPSI news release
28 August 2008
- on the eve of an expensive translocation project - a herd of Gaur
(otherwise known as Indian bison) have turned up close to Bandhavgarh
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.
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.