Wild Dogs seen at Buxa Tiger Reserve

wild dogs at the Buxa Tiger Reserve
Alipurduar: Foresters at Buxa Tiger Reserve have a reason to rejoice.
A tourist from Hooghly has clicked pictures of a pack of Asiatic Wild Dogs or dholes at BTR, a species that has eluded the glimpses of most wildlife enthusiasts.
The dholes, also known as Cuon alpinus, are an endangered species according to the Red Data List of IUCN.
Tubai Manna, a medicine-seller based in Dankuni, was touring the BTR on November 22 and 23 when he saw the dogs moving around.

"I have visited the BTR several times and have seen gaur (Indian bison), elephant and leopards. But this is the first time that I could see wild dogs. There were around eight to 10 of them along with cubs. The canines move so fast that within a minute, the entire pack moved deep into the forest, sensing our presence. I was fortunate to have clicked them twice," Manna said over phone on Tuesday.
As he arrived in Alipurduar to head for his hometown and showed the photos to local residents, they were equally surprised.
"People there told me that despite visiting several areas of the BTR, they had never seen wild dogs though it is known that a population of the species exist in the reserve. I also learnt that the dholes have never been extensively photographed unlike other wild species which live in the forest," said Manna.
A number of forest officials posted in BTR confirmed that the photos clicked by Manna were of wild dogs.
"It is true that dholes are rarely sighted in the reserve area. The last sighting, we believe, was about three years ago, when some of our staff had seen two or three dholes near the Jainti riverbed. It is nice to see the photos, which also indicates that their population is on the rise," said N.S. Murali, the field director of the reserve.
Another forester mentioned that the presence of canines like dholes indicated that the status of animal food chain was good in BTR. "For the dholes, it is necessary to have a strong prey base or presence of herbivores," he said.
The sighting of the pack has prompted the foresters to plan a survey of the species.

The Teolegraph

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