The Heyvan Times brings you a weekly dose of news on animal affairs from across India, curated specially for animal buffs like us. Here are the top four of this week.
UP forests, wildlife conservation to get AI solutions from IIT Kanpur
IIT Kanpur is going all out helping the UP government to tackle crime through predictive analysis. And now, if a Times of India article is to be believed, it has also put its foot in the forest to keep track of wild animals and reduce man-animal conflicts. A group of artificial intelligence experts from the premier engineering school have already visited the forests in Sonaripur of Dudhwa National park to understand the ground challenges. 3D LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing survey method and the team already demonstrated its capabilities of tree counting and mapping, sensing illegal activities and forest fires to the forest department. The AI support that it aims to provide is said to be helpful to identify and count animals, behavioural study and analysis and timely assistance for injured animals, through its deployment of vision and thermal cameras too.
Lucky, Mumbai’s dog succumbed to hatred
Lucky, the stray dog of Mumbai went to take shelter from torrential rains in Turf View building in Worli on July 24. But the security guards beat him out after one of the residents allegedly asked them to kick out the dog. Although Poonam Samtani, co-founder of Bombay Animal Rights NGO rescued the dog and rushed it to the hospital, it succumbed to injuries on August 7. Animal lovers and activists, even Bollywood celebrities including Sonam Kapoor, John Abraham, Anushka Sharma among others raised their voice against the mentality of their fellow citizens towards community animals. The NGO has filed a police complaint at Worli police station, which charges the offenders under IPC section 429 for animal cruelty but they were soon out on bail. PeTA India demanded stronger punishment for animal abusers.
Jharkhand to have an elephant rescue centre
In an attempt to save the jumbos in the state and handle man-animal conflicts without loss of life of both, the Jharkhand forest department claims to have set up a dedicated rescue centre for elephants in its capital city–Ranchi. A Times of India report quoted Sanjay Kumar, Principal Conservator of Forests (PCCF), saying that this centre, planned for 2018-19, will treat and rehabilitate injured pachyderms. Official data claims to witness over 600 people killed during elephant attacks or in conflicts involving the animal in the state since 2009. During this period, 80 elephants have also died due to unnatural causes, primarily electrocution, road accidents and even food poisoning. In 2016, the department also launched a web-based elephant tracking system to monitor their movements which has proved beneficial so far.
Haryana to launch app to tap wildlife sightings
A Hindustan Times report says the state wildlife department is ready to launch an app this December that will keep track of wildlife sightings, map species distribution and record rescue operations in detail. This app will be used by forest officials on the ground and each district will have their own application, connected to a central server monitored by senior officials at Panchkula district. The intention is to create a ready to use distribution map of animals – species wise, and provide inputs necessary to access or predict a possible man-animal conflict. Officials said that the department is creating a portal to demarcate boundaries of the forest area shown on satellite imagery, claimed the report. Last year, they identified and mapped 20 species in the Aravallis range–leopards, hyenas, monkeys, deer, nilgai, jackals, mongoose, porcupines, wild cats, snakes, monitor lizards and a variety of birds using drones.