BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh government is planning to launch a pilot project aimed at capturing Nilgais in the forested areas of Chhattarpur, Shajapur and Morena districts through a “trial-and-error” method, instead of culling them.
The state wildlife department will put out advertisements aimed at enlisting the help of interested people to capture the animals, so they can be shifted to protected zones.
According to wildlife officials, Nilgais have been damaging crops in many parts of the state– including Bhind Morena, Chhattarpur, Rewa, Satna, Shajapur and Agar districts. The problem came to a head in 2015, when farmers from Neemuch district launched a hunger strike to demand adequate compensation from the state government.
Additional principal chief conservator of Forests (APCCF) RP Singh told HT that the state government has no plans to cull Nilgais. He, however, admitted that capturing the animals could be difficult as forest officials don’t even know the dosage of tranquilliser required to be administered.
Explaining the reason for the “trial-and-error” method, Singh said: “Nilgais are very sturdy and heavy, but fast. There are a few who know how to successfully catch these animals without causing them harm. Moreover, when we chase Nilgais, they end up running very fast and breaking a limb, which is equivalent to death for a wild animal.”
The issue of culling wild beasts in human-animal conflict areas hit the headlines recently, when women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi lashed out at environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday over his “lust for killing animals”.