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28 Feb 2024, Edition - 3151, Wednesday

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Survival of the fittest : man-animal conflict



Coimbatore: The world was created for life to perish, but for millennia only the fittest can survive the cycle of life. Humans and animals are now onto this fight, a fight for survival. Globally we are facing habitat degradation and many species have found their way to extinction because of the greed of homo sapiens. Though it is globally a confidential subject, in the city it is quite an opposite story. The wildlife has been taking some actions to survive in this world and we can know this by some recent incidents that happened around the city.

There have been lot of deaths by the conflict between humans and animals in our district, and there is only a small part of them revealed to the world. Though the death rate given by the authority has been only a handful, villagers seem to say there has been quite a number of deaths due to wildlife interference in their vicinity. It is not the mistake of animals to look for food and water, but it is the error of humans in administrative position as they should have taken some precautionary measures.

Animals have been in these localities even before us. They have been navigating within the forests for years. As we have inhabited their place, it is not wise for us to point our fingers at them. Varapalayam, Thadagam, Booluvampatty, Madukkarai are some of the areas where the conflict has been frequently recorded.

Habitat degradation is the major reason for the conflict, said an officer from the Forest department. Maybe it was time this statement was reconsidered as they should have thought this before giving permission to the Adi Yogi to have a huge occupancy area of 2,800sqm in the district. Tamil Nadu Farmer Association head Vazhukuparai Balu said the habitat degraded by Isha and Karunya is one of the primary reasons for the change in the wildlife migration.

Noyyal river and other small lakes have been the source of water for wildlife in the forest areas. As the human occupancy has made sure that areas used by the wildlife for migration were put to construction purposes, the animals have to take an alternative route to get food and water. Palanisamy (53), a farmer in Arumuga Goundanoor, said the plantation and vegetation in the fields are luring animals in search of food.

Recently, the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association gave a petition to the District Collector, requesting more equipment and manpower to the forest department as they lacked in both. Villagers claim watchers are not paid properly, hence they fail to act. This has been in the news previously, so it is the work of the authority to look into these issues.

Preserving wildlife is important and so it is to save the human lives. Depleting nature has its consequences and we are facing it in many ways. But this fight for the survival is one thing that can be prevented with some measures taken by people and the Government.

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