I am a journalist, working as Balangir correspondent of the English daily "The Pioneer" and “The Industry and Mines Observer”, an English fortnightly magazine published from Bhubneshwar. I was awarded the Trophy for "Excellence in Journalism" by noted Columnist Sri Shivaji Sarkar,in the presence of Editor in Chief -of The Pioneer,Dr Chandan Mitra ,Editor of The Industry and Mines Observer (IMO) Sri Sirish Mohanty on June19,2012.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
FOREST FIRE, HABITAT LOSS: WILD CATS PERISHINGWednesday, 29 May 2013 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswa
FOREST FIRE, HABITAT LOSS: WILD CATS PERISHING
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
The decline in number of wild cats, locally known as Bhau Bilei, has worried many wildlife enthusiasts and environment lovers. The cat was a part of folklore and while villagers slept in the open, they often cautioned their children not to venture at night as wild cat would carry them away to forest. Bhau Bilei used to be very notorious, which was in the habit of taking away the villagers’ hens from their houses.
The wild cats lived in bushy forest almost near village areas and ate rats found in open fields and forests. However, the animal’s number has been declining rapidly.
Forest fire, habitat loss and rising temperature are believed to be responsible for the decline in wild cats. Most of the wild cats give birth to babies in January and April in bushy areas. While many cats and their babies are burnt to death in forest fire, rising temperature affects the cat’s mating process, which is another cause of its decline, forest official sources said.
“In my childhood days (three decades ago), it was common to find wild cats near the sugarcane field adjacent to my village. From there, they would move into houses and steal hens. Moreover, the forests were dense. A section of people would kill wild cats and consume its meat as it was believed that it contained medicinal properties which cured arthritis.
Regular poaching and loss of habitat resulted in further decline in the cat’s numbers in this region,” pointed out a villager.
With rapid loss of forest cover, changing life style, rising temperature, not only are the wild cats, but various other wild animals are perishing. So it is high time we took steps to save these animals.