POCHARAM (MEDAK), DEC. 11. The animals of Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary except the national bird, Peacock, have survived the fourth consecutive drought in the region. The annual wildlife census has proven their resilience.
The two-day census undertaken by the six-member team of forest officials in the 130 sq. km. Deer Breeding Centre-1 (DBC) and the 75 sq. km DBC-2 ended on a satisfying note.
It was found that the deer, the sambhar deer and the wild buffalo had survived nature's toughest test.
The head of the team, S. Sankaraiah, Range Officer of the Manjeera and Pocharam forests had been tracing footprints of various animals in Pocharam sanctuary, a haven of bushes and ponds. So far the team found 30 deer, 100 spotted deer, eight sambhars and 12 wild buffaloes.
Even though the counting of peacocks was incomplete, the officers agreed that their numbers had been dwindling. They blame it on unabated poaching.
The National Highway-7 that cuts across the forest bring in loads of truck drivers, travellers and unsocial elements, who hunt down peacocks for their meat and feathers.
The large hoarding put up by the Forest Department cautioning people not to disturb the peace and tranquillity of the forest seems to have no impact on people.
Moreover, numerous villages inside the forest depend on the resources of the forest. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Sankaraiah said there should be more awareness programmes for schoolchildren and for villagers who depend on the forest.He said filling up of dried ponds with water from borewells had saved the animals during summer.He said that vigilance would be increased to check poaching of peacocks.