Eluding the eyes of most of the tourists and boatsmen, deer herds, Royal Bengal tigers and crocodiles had the free run of the jungles and rivers of Sundarbans till Yaas struck.
Even as rescuers are extending a helping hand to marooned humans, the wild denizens of the largest delta of the world can find themselves in the homes of humans whom they habitually avoid following animals’ natural instinct. Sight of pug marks triggered panic at Nagenabad village under Moipeeth-Baikunthapur gram panchayat area. However, state forest department officials from Kultali identified the pug marks to be that of a wild cat restoring calm.
But forest department officials are keeping their fingers crossed as much of the tiger project area is inundated. Deaths of animals of endangered species are not ruled out as though amphibious, the onrushing waves can catch them unaware. The nylon nets around the tiger projects having given way to the onrush of choppy river water can clear the path for “Mr Stripes” to the villages, a senior forest official said.
The villages in and around the tiger project thus remain sans a barrier to the big cat. The uninterrupted flow of river water augmented by showers have made its way into Bhagabatpur crocodile project, it was learnt. Initial panic subsided after state forest department officials assured that the crocodiles have not swum or slithered out of their breeding centre, the only one in the state.
Four deer have been rescued at Dayapur, Jingakhali, Dulki and Sonagaon.
The herbivores had swam to safety when Yaas was raging give rise to the fear that their natural predator tiger following its prey can lead to a man-animal conflict.