Twelve years ago, Gujarat reported the highest animal mortality in zoos in India. Where animal wellness is concerned, not much has changed in the state. Last year, a lumpy skin disease claimed the lives of 1500 animals in Gujarat. Now, it’s reported, that the wolf count in the state is also going down.
Only 150 wolves are left in Gujarat, a figure considered with a 10% error margin.
Following the decreasing population of wolves in Kutch’s Little Rann, the forest department has arranged for the release of zoo-bred wolves into the wild.
It’s reported that a disabled female wolf Divyangi and her progeny have given birth to 40 wolves at the Sakkarbaug Zoo. The forest department plans to release 30-odd wolves into the wild at Suigam in Banaskantha district and in the Little Rann of Kutch to protect the endangered species.
In 2020, when the sighting of this animal was documented for the first time, only one wolf was found in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) and Greater Rann of Kutch (GRK).
Going by this year’s wolf census, the LRK has approximately 10 wolves and there are 30 wolves each in and around the Velavadar sanctuary and the Gir sanctuary, a national daily has reported.
While the numbers are still being ascertained for accuracy, it’s estimated that wolves in the state might not be more than 170. This is close to the number of wolves recorded in Gujarat in 1991.
A forest officer has claimed that a particular community is destroying wolves to protect its livestock. An effort will be made to raise public awareness about wolf preservation, the officer, who wasn’t named in the report, said. Additionally, plans are on the anvil to pay compensation for livestock killed by wolves like the way it’s done for leopards and lions.