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Banke National Park animals thirst for water as several ponds go dry

- THAKUR SINGH THARU, NEPALGUNJ

May 10, 2018-

Animals inside the Banke National Park (BNP) have been affected as their drinking ponds have started to dry up. There are 27 artificial ponds inside the sanctuary, and nearly half of them are going dry, said chief conservation officer Dil Bahadur Pun.

If the dry condition were to continue for a few more weeks, there is a high chance of the other ponds getting dry as well, he said.

“The parched condition inside the park is not going resolve unless the region receives a decent amount of rain.” Water scarcity is already driving some animals outside their habitats. The park officials are facing difficulties stopping the animals from straying outside the park boundary. Assistant conservation officer Rabin Chaudhary said many animals were found near Sikta Irrigation Canal after the drinking ponds inside the park started going dry. Animals have also been found travelling southward towards the Rapti river, which requires crossing the East-West Highway. A 75-km stretch of the highway passes through the park. Wildlife conservationists are concerned by the prospects of animals drowning in the canal and getting hit by vehicles while crossing the highway.

The park officials are preparing to dig 10 more ponds inside the park to address the problem of water scarcity.“We plan to build new ponds as well as fill the ones already in place by transporting water from the Babai and Rapti rivers,” said Chaudhary.

Published: 10-05-2018 08:25

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