Pune: Forest officials avoid past mistakes; successfully rescue Gaur and facilitate its return into natural habitat

Pune: The sighting of Gaur (Indian Bison) at urban locality of Bavdhan on Tuesday (December 22) had sent jitters among forest officials. However, a training on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) conducted recently and extra-ordinary precautions taken to ensure that the Gaur does not head towards the city areas
The Gaur was spotted second time within a fortnight at the outskirts of Pune city. The first time on December 9 it was sighted at the Mahatma Society while on December 22 it was seen at the HEMRL compound wall near Pashan lake in Bavdhan area.
After the news spread about another Gaur spotted at Bavdhan, some citizens had gathered at the spot. However, forest officials and its rescue team ensured that the situation did not spiral out of hand.
The Gaur was successfully kept at a distance from the main road and nearby residential areas. The forest officials had put up iron nets, tin sheets and bamboos along with pieces of red cloth to divert the attention of the Gaur and lead it to the nearby forest area. After a few hours, the Gaur returned to its natural habitat.
Rahul Patil, Deputy Forest Conservator of Pune Forest Division told media persons that the Gaur is a shy animal and does not harm anybody without any reason. “If citizens spot any such animal in the urban localities, they should inform the forest officials first and should not create chaos at the spot,” he appealed.
Earlier in the month, citizens had crowded at the Mahatma Society area due to which the Gaur had panicked. The animal then ran about six to seven kilometres towards Paud road before it could be captured. However, the long chase had exhausted the animal due to which it succumbed to exhaustion after it. These mistakes were avoided during the rescue operation on December 22 by the forest officials.

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