‘Landslips, rains did not impact wildlife in Kerala’

Kochi: Landslips and heavy rains unleashed in Kerala forests causing flooding in downstream did not have any major impact on its precious wildlife including elephants, tigers and leopards, a top state forest official said today.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests P K Kesavan said generally animals have got a “strong sixth sense” and they become “alert” at the time of any unusual changes in the nature helping them escape to safety at the time of its fury.

“As of now, no serious issues,” Kesavan told PTI.

He said there were instances of landslips in forests due to heavy rains but no cases of deaths of animals have been reported so far.

Kesavan further said the king cobra, a venomous snake species found in moist forests of the state, were also largely safe.

The world’s longest venomous snake has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2010 as it was threatened by habitat destruction. Some deaths of wild animals including a 14-year-old tiger in Thekkady in Idukki district and three elephants–two in Wayanad and one in Vazhachal–were reported during this period but these were not related to flooding or rains, he said.

Western Ghat region of Kerala contains a huge natural forest area covering 24 per cent of state’s landmass.

These forest regions house numerous protected conservation areas including Tiger Reserves and Wildlife sanctuaries hosting major fauna such as elephant, tiger, leopard and Nilgiri tahr.