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Drone to track animals at Mahananda Sanctuary

The Statesman logo The Statesman 07-12-2019 SNS Web
a close up of a helicopter flying in the air: Drone to track animals at Mahananda Sanctuary © Provided by The Statesman Drone to track animals at Mahananda Sanctuary

The forest department is all set to introduce drones to track the movement of animals, especially elephants and leopards that are often in conflict with humans. Forest officials also expressed concern about ‘unmanaged garbage disposal’ at certain places, which, they said, had been attracting wild animals. According to the Assistant Wildlife Warden, Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Jayanta Mandal, they are pressing into service one drone in the Sanctuary next week, making it the first time that the machine will be used for animal surveillance in North Bengal.

“The drone has just arrived here and some staff have already undergone training in on how to use it. The Sukna wildlife squad will handle it,” Mandal said on the sidelines of a ‘Multi-interest group workshop on mitigating human-wildlife conflicts in North Bengal,’ organised by the Wildlife Institute of India and the Darjeeling Wildlife Division at the Mahananda Nature Interpretation Centre at Sukna, around 11 km away from Siliguri town, today. “The machine will chiefly be used to locate animals that have gone into difficult areas where the forest staff will have problems entering. Also, we often face problems tranquilizing leopards, while with the help of the drone, we can locate the animal and then plan how we can approach it,” Mandal said.

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