Animals in Telangana forests flock to saucer pits to quench thirst

According to officials, the ideal situation is to have at least one water source for every nine square km of forest.

Hyderabad: Wild animals in the forests of Telangana are flocking to saucer pits dug and filled with water by the forest authorities to quench their thirst in the scorching summer.

Some photographs from camera traps uploaded on social media by the Forest Department show different animals are using saucer pits, which are regularly filled with water by the forest authorities.

The pictures show a leopard, deer, bears and other animals separately quenching their thirst. Officials said they have been regularly filling saucer pits installed in protected areas to provide relief to wild animals and birds during the summer.

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The department provided the pits as natural water bodies in the forests have gone dry. The officials made special arrangements to ensure that no animal goes thirsty.

The step was also taken as drying up of natural water bodies during summer is believed to be one of the key reasons for wild animals straying into human settlements and towns in the periphery of the forests.

With rapid shrinking of wildlife habitats, animals are heading to human habitations. Summer months see more incidents of animal-human conflict as the streams and other natural water bodies in forests dry up and animals set out in search of water.

There is also the increased risk of wild animals getting hit by vehicles plying on highways that run close to or through forests.

An official said providing saucer pits and filling them with water on regular basis is helping the department avoid possible human-animal conflicts.

According to officials, the ideal situation is to have at least one water source for every nine square km of forest.

The Forest Department has also installed percolation tanks and built check dams with the help of solar powered pumps in the wildlife sanctuaries and forest reserves.

Construction of solar-powered water sources has been taken up on either side of National Highway 44, between Kamareddy and Indalwai in Nizamabad district close to Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary.

The 130 square km Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary traverses the districts of Nizamabad and Medak. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary by the Nizam of erstwhile Hyderabad State in the beginning of the 20th century.

The authorities dug borewells in the vicinity of natural streams and then connect them to a series of solar panels. The solar power from the panels is used to run the borewells.

Water from the borewells is drawn and fed into mini-percolation tanks constructed by the department.

Meanwhile, a video shot by a tourist during Safari spotted a Gaur herd at Kawal Tiger Reserve in Asifabad district in the state.

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