Wildlife victims of Saptari fume at government apathy

Rajbiraj, January 22

People residing in northern Saptari villages adjoining the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, who have long been putting up with wildlife terror, have started pouring out their resentment.

Saptari Chief District Officer Bhagirath Pande, who had reached Kanchanrup Municipality to hold talks with the locals seeking a solution, had to confront the ire of angry locals who accused the government of putting wildlife before human life and property.

On the occasion, Mayor Basanta Mishra of Kanchanrup Municipality informed about three wildlife-related deaths in the municipality this year alone.

“Someone convicted of killing a wild animal has to face a long prison term, but when a wild beast kills a person and damages property, nobody cares, which is unfortunate,” said Mishra, threatening to take to an agitation should wildlife authorities fail to find a long-term solution to the problem. “We can’t sleep for fear of wildlife attacks and don’t have anything to eat because a rogue beast has damaged the all our crops, but the government, it seems, has taken things for granted,” he said.

Further, ruing the lack of authority on his part to act on his own accord regarding the matter, the mayor said, “The people expect me to do something in the capacity of mayor but I can’t as I don’t have the authority. So I hereby urge the administration to take some concrete steps so that the people here can get rid of the scourge.”

Meanwhile, the CDO, upon hearing the concerns, monitored the affected area. He also suggested that a joint patrol be conducted in the affected area by security personnel and the local level to minimise the wildlife terror.