Wild packs dog Sikkim

Wild packs dog Sikkim
Gangtok: Feral dogs have become a menace in Sikkim, attacking wildlife, including endangered species like the red panda, and humans living on the fringes of the state's seven wildlife sanctuaries and the Khangchendzonga National Park.
Forest officials and NGOs said there has been a massive increase in the population of feral dogs, which in the long run could pose a serious challenge to wildlife protection in the region.
According to them, there have been a number of instances of the wild dogs' attacks on other animals like red panda, Tibetan gazelle, musk deer and yak, among others, in the last two-three years. In the past fortnight, two army jawans were seriously injured after being attacked by feral dogs.
C. S. Rao, additional chief conservator of forest, said feral dogs have been a problem for the past few years, and the forest department is trying to tackle the menace under its Sikkim Anti-Rabies and Animal Health (SARAH) programme, which is a statewide anti-rabies and animal birth control project started in 2005.

"With the help of the SARAH team, we are sterilizing feral dogs in the field and releasing them in the forests. Under the Centre's Integrated Wildlife Habitat Development programme, we have also taken sterilizing activities along the fringes of the wildlife sanctuaries and Khangchendzonga Nationa Park," he said, adding that plans are also afoot to provide additional funds to SARAH for the sterilization of more dogs.
Rao said the main reason for the rise in the number of feral dogs and their increasing incursion into human habitation is the haphazard dumping of garbage in the areas on the fringes of forests. "
Garbage is not being managed properly. These animals frequently visit these areas because they are getting food very easily... We are trying to generate awareness, asking people to avoid dumping garbage in the open. We can control this problem up to certain level if we can do this," he said.
Priyadarshini Shrestha, the team leader of World Worldlife Fund-India, Sikkim and Darjeeling region, agreed that the open garbage pits dotting the forest fringes were a major factor for the increase in the population of feral dogs not just in Sikkim but the entire eastern Himalayas. "Improper dumping of waste not only attracts wild animals but also sustain their population," she said.
During the course of her organisation's study on the distribution and population of snow leopard and red panda in Sikkim, it was found that the main cause for the proliferation of these dogs was improper garbage disposal, not only from human settlements, but also from the numerous road construction camps, Army and paramilitary camps located in the area. "A concerted and consistent effort of the forest department, NGOs and the Army is needed to tackle the menace," said Shrestha.

The Telegraph
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Feral dogs have become a menace in Sikkim, attacking wildlife, including endangered species like the red panda, and humans living on the fringes of the state's seven wildlife sanctuaries and the Khangchendzonga National Park.

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