A sambar fawn speared to death on a fence within Sukhna Nature Trail.(PHOTO: DIVYE MATHUR)
A sambar fawn speared to death on a fence within Sukhna Nature Trail.(PHOTO: DIVYE MATHUR)

Wildbuzz: A fawn not spared

A well-intentioned move can at times have serious repercussions
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Vikram Jit Singh
PUBLISHED ON NOV 07, 2020 11:40 PM IST

A section of Chandigarh’s citizens blindly advocate that the forest areas spreading down to the city from the Shivaliks be fenced off totally so as to avoid road kills of wild animals. No doubt a well-intentioned outrage but it misses the depth and complexity of wild animals’ needs such as seasonal movements for food/water and the imperative to diversify gene pools by interbreeding between subpopulations of the species. These natural needs would be stifled were fencing undertaken in a manner that each jungle area divided by peripheral roads turned into “big zoological enclosures”.

That said, there can be no justification for a hazardous and cruel fencing erected within the Sukhna Lake Nature Trail. It has spear-like points that impaled a Sambar fawn on Wednesday. The fawn was probably trying to jump across with the family but failed and paid with its life. The point where this incident took place is the trail that leads left from the observation tower and about 500 m from the entry gate adjacent to the Lake Sports Complex tennis courts.

A vigilant and anguished citizen, Divye Mathur, who has morning walked this trail since decades, took a photograph to highlight the wanton killing. His picture posted on social media drew acerbic comments from citizens, who pointed out the contradiction: was fencing meant to save wild animals or to spear them to death with a thoughtless measure?

“Why does the forest department have these sharp spikes? Early morning I saw this sad accident. The brutal death of a poor creature behind Sukhna Lake just because this killer boundary has been installed. To save wild animals or to kill them? Very sad. Everywhere around wildlife areas, a net fencing is imposed not these spear tips,” Mathur, a Sector 8 resident, told this writer.

GOLF’S GLORIOUS BIRDIES

A migratory male Black redstart. (PHOTO: AMIT BHATARA)
A migratory male Black redstart. (PHOTO: AMIT BHATARA)

The tricity’s golfing greens, which are buzzing with professional players from all over India, are also hosting delightful avians, some of whom are altitudinal migrants fleeing the chill in the mountains like the durbar moves of the British Raj and still in vogue in Jammu Kashmir! A delightful bundle of colour with a ceaselessly shivering tail is the Black redstart, observed grabbing insects on the ground in front of the tee box at the Chandigarh Golf Club’s 16th hole. The shy redstart found a lookout perch on the trees flanking the tee box to the left and would sally forth to the ground whenever the golfers were not firing drivers and moving across the redstart’s hunting grounds. On spotting the golfers moving towards it from the corner of the eye, the redstart would dart in flight to the safe, welcoming hug of leafy boughs.

At the Panchkula Golf Club, little birds afforded a variety of behaviours, calls and songs to serenade the grim-looking professionals, their minds obsessed with birdies, eagles and albatrosses!. On the tree left flanking the green of the first hole, a male Magpie robin, a Red-vented bulbul and a Black drongo flitted about competing for perches. As the pros drove the ball hard from the 6th hole tee, a migratory warbler perched deep in the tree to the left let out a soft call, very much like beads being rubbed together. Three white, dimpled golf balls drew the close attention of a Pond heron, which was stalking the fairway of the 9th hole for insects/grubs like a respectable-looking but cunning hermit. Upon the golfers’ arrival to their balls, the heron did not fly but scuttled off like a fox driven from the hen coop!

vjswild1@gmail.com

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