Animal activists and social workers have put up signs near the Karnala Bird Sanctuary in Panvel in an effort to increase wildlife safety. Accidents on the Mumbai-Goa highway near the bird sanctuary in the past have killed many animals, activists claim. The Pankh Foundation in Pen and the Hands That Heal Animal Care Foundation have launched a campaign known as “Chalo Karnala”.
A social worker by the name of Saikat Majumdar spoke about the drastic increase in animal deaths during his interaction with The Times Of India. He mentioned that the sanctuary located about 70 km from the city of Mumbai was completely safe for wildlife. However, with the construction of the national road through the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, an increase in the number of animal deaths, especially monkeys, has been observed. Speaking on behalf of the campaign team, Majumdar said, “We are raising awareness and asking motorists not to stop on the highway to feed the wildlife.
He pointed out that passing motorists threw edibles on the busy highway. This leads the monkeys to risk their lives to eat the food. In addition to posing a threat to animal life, this driving behavior is also illegal, said Majumdar. He then spoke about the impact of these abnormal foods on monkeys, saying animals do not seek as much food in their natural habitat, which upsets the environmental balance. Feeding wild animals is a criminal offense under the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act. Hitting, assaulting, teasing or killing animals is a legally punishable offense under the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act, 1960.
On Sunday morning, a group of social activists from Konkan Katta and Gram Samvardhan Samajik Sanstha formed a human chain and held a one-day awareness campaign to raise awareness about wildlife safety in and around the sanctuary.
Campaign coordinator Santosh Thakur told the portal that the highway along the stretch of the sanctuary signals the death of an animal every day due to road accidents. He said the group would resort to protests if demands are not met within a month. Some of the requests sought by them include the installation of CCTV, the installation of rumblers on the stretch of motorway, the provision of medical facilities for wildlife in the sanctuary and action against those who feed the wildlife. .
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