Borivli park to provide guidelines to handle man-animal conflict
In an effort to systematically handle the man-animal conflict, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) at Borivli will soon pen a standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with such situations.mumbai Updated: Jun 23, 2011 02:17 IST
In an effort to systematically handle the man-animal conflict, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) at Borivli will soon pen a standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with such situations.
“A standard operating procedure is very important to avoid a panic situation when an animal strays into a human settlement. The SOP will be followed during rescue operations from crowd control to rescuing the animal,” said Sunil Limaye, director and conservator, SGNP on Monday on the sidelines of a workshop with various stakeholders to deal with the man-animal conflict.
While the Ministry of Environment and Forests has framed general guidelines to deal with such situations, Limaye said they need to be modified to fit region specifications.
In the next 15 days, park authorities will bring out a brochure on the protocols that need to be followed by various authorities including forest officials, policemen, fire brigade and the public.
So, if someone spots a leopard, the procedure would first involve informing the police. The police will then cordon off the area, ask people to stay indoors and contact forest officials.
“Every time an animal has to be rescued, the conditions are so unique that there won’t be a single straightforward protocol. This is why we need SOPs to fit each situation,” said Dr Aniruddha Belsare, veterinary consultant.
This year, there have been six incidents of leopards straying into human colonies around the periphery of the park area such as Malad, Goregaon, Mulund and Bhandup. In view of the increasing cases, SGNP officials have also decided to conduct year-long refresher training courses for its staff in various forest divisions.
“In two weeks, there will be a mock training session for SGNP officials. This will be followed by training for quick response teams comprising one range officer, one forest officer and two guards from other divisions,” said Limaye. “The best way to control the conflict is to refrain from throwing garbage near the park area,” said wildlife biologist, Vidya Athreya.