Herds of deer, tigers and crocodiles from Royal Bengal, hidden from the eyes of most tourists and boaters, had run free in the jungles and rivers of Sundarbans until Yaas struck.
Even when rescuers help the marooned people, the wild inhabitants of the world’s largest delta can find themselves in the homes of people they ordinarily avoid following the animals’ natural instincts. The sight of pug spots caused panic in the village of Nagenabad in the Moancheth-Baikunthapur-Gram Panchayat area. However, officials from the Kultali State Forestry Department identified the pug markings as that of a wildcat restoring calm.
But forestry officials keep their fingers crossed as much of the tiger project area is flooded. The death of animals of endangered species is not excluded, as if they were amphibious. They can catch the emerging waves unsuspectingly. The nylon nets around the tiger projects, which have given way to the onslaught of troubled river water, can clear the way for “Mr Stripes” to go to the villages, a senior forest official said.
The villages in and around the tiger project thus remain without a barrier for the big cat. The uninterrupted flow of river water, enhanced by showers, has found its way into the Bhagabatpur crocodile project, it was learned. The initial panic subsided after officials from the state forestry ministry assured the crocodiles did not swim or slide out of their breeding center, the only one in the state.
Four deer were rescued in Dayapur, Jingakhali, Dulki and Sonagaon.
The herbivores had swam to safety when Yaas raged, raising fears that their natural predatory tiger, following its prey, could lead to a human-animal conflict.