Driving on SGNP's internal roads is clear apathy

Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 07:19 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Bringing an animal towards you, or enticing it is defeating the purpose of going on safari. It also shows a lack of respect for wildlife

Road from Bhandup to Kanheri passes through core area of SGNP. Pic/Sameer Markande
Road from Bhandup to Kanheri passes through core area of SGNP. Pic/Sameer Markande

About two weeks after a Shiv Sena MP's car mowed down a deer in the tourism zone of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), the forest department has put up notices at the gates leading to internal roads, with instructions for private vehicles to stay away from the route, a report said in this paper.

The impetus for the stricter rules is an SUV belonging to parliamentarian Rajendra Gavit killing a spotted deer that was crossing the road adjacent to Trimurti station inside SGNP on November 27. The SGNP authorities must be given enough teeth, so that they actually are able to stop the rich and powerful, those with connections from accessing these internal roads.

While this is not directly related to the SGNP, we learn from safari guides at some wildlife parks in India, that politicians often visit with their fawning entourage. The forest rangers and officials are then put under pressure to ensure a tiger or lion sighting for the politician inside the park.

The officials sometimes bring in pieces of fresh meat so that the wild animal gets lured to the spot by its scent. This is ridiculous as the safari visitor must know that spotting a certain animal on a safari is a matter of chance.

Bringing an animal towards you, or enticing it is defeating the purpose of going on safari. It also shows a lack of respect for wildlife.

Driving on internal roads shows the same apathy and disdain for wildlife. Wildlife officials must tell the SGNP taxidermist to stuff the unfortunate deer and use it on signs to keep out private vehicles in core areas. Name and shame these perpetrators without fear or favour.

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