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Gurgaon: WhatsApp number soon to report animals in danger

The move will enable residents to send and share pictures, videos and locations of animals in distress

gurgaon Updated: Jan 18, 2018 22:37 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
wildlife,Gurgaon,WhatsApp
The move to open a Whatsapp helpline assumes significance at a time when residents and wildlife experts have flagged concerns over poaching and man-animal conflict(Parveen Kumar/HT FILE)

The wildlife department will roll out a WhatsApp number within a week to enable residents to send and share pictures, videos and locations of animals in distress and have them rescued.

Officers of the wildlife department said that although they will soon launch a helpline number for this purpose, they decided on making the WhatsApp number available first as it is more in tune with the times and will enable residents to share pictures, videos and locations of distressed animals in real time.

The helpline number will involve a person manning a cell to register and act on complaints, the official said.

“Keeping tab of complaints related to wildlife will also become a lot more easier and the sharing of locations will also boost the response time of the department and help its ground staff reach the spot at the earliest. After getting the necessary details and information, our teams can rush to the spot with the necessary equipment for the rescue,” Vinod Kumar, conservator of wildlife, south Haryana, said.

The move to open a helpline and a WhatsApp number for rescuing animals in distress assumes significance, as there has been a spike in incidents of man-animal conflict in the state in the recent past.

On November 24, residents of Kharak Sohna village in Mewat district of Haryana spotted a dead leopard in Aravalli area.

In April 2014, four leopards were found dead within a week in and around a private golf resort in Gurgaon.

About half a dozen other leopards have been killed in road accidents in Gurgaon over the last few years. On November 24, a two-and-half-year-old male leopard was beaten to death by villagers of Mandawar after it strayed into a village in Sohna, 40km from Gurgaon.

Read I Leopard tranquilised in Manesar 36 hours after it strayed into Maruti plant

In another incident in 2011, a male leopard was beaten to death in Kheri Gujaran village by a mob allegedly in the presence of government officials.

“Our teams need to be made aware of the exact situation (involving a wild animal), as only then can we mount a rescue operation,” Kumar said.

He said that the wildlife department is also toying with the idea of procuring a few drones for surveillance of the Aravalli areas. “We are in talks with some companies and will need about a month to get a clear picture on soon these drones could be procured and put to use,” Kumar said.

Residents and wildlife activists have also flagged concern over the rise in poaching in the Aravallis and claimed that the department is often found wanting in acting on complaints as and when they come along. “The wildlife department needs to ensure regular patrolling in the Aravallis and stop poaching,” Vaishali Rana Chandra, a resident of a resident of Valley View Estate, said.

On December 9, a resident had filed a complaint at the Badshahpur police station against poaching near Tata Raisina Residency. The complainant said a large number of jackals and peacocks are being hunted and captured by a gang of poachers and animal traders.

Rescue timeline

October 5-------- An eight foot long Indian Rock Python rescued from Silani village in Sohna

October 6--------Two Indian Rock Python rescued from IMT Manesar. One was 10-feet-long, while other was seven foot long

October 8---- Indian Rock python rescued from Ghata village

October 11---A 12-feet-long Indian Rock Python rescued from Sector 22 Gurgaon near a park

October 15----A nine-foot-long Indian Rock Python rescued from Kadarpur area

October 18--- A seven-foot-long Indian Rock Python rescued from Rakka

October 20—A 10-feet-long Indian Rock Python rescued from Alipur Gamdoj area near a community centre

October 22--- A 11-feet-long Indian Rock Python rescued from Air Force Station on Sohna Road

October 24--- A 15-feet-long Indian Rock Python rescued from Sector 12, near a residential complex

October 30----Six chicks of a Barn Owl found from a hotel in Rajiv Chowk

November 6 ---Injured Barn Owl rescued by the wildlife department from Sector 52

January 2--- Barn Owl rescued from a house in Vipul World in Sector 48

November 8----Two spotted-black terrapins seized by the wildlife department at an aquarium shop in Faridabad

November 12--- Indian tent turtle seized at a shop at Rewari

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 22:37 IST