Mandya: Grey Wolves have not been sighted for years by the patrolling forest staff in Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary in Mandya and now forest officials want confirmation on their presence with the help of cameras installed at convenient places inside the sanctuary.
About a fortnight back, forest officials had installed cameras at Kagalihalla, Vadinahalla and Sujigallu, all water holes of the forest area, hoping that animals including Grey Wolves will visit water holes to meet their drinking water requirements and this would help them get confirmation on Wolves, if any, in the sanctuary. But, so far, no sighting of Wolves has been reported.
Perhaps, Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary is the only sanctuary for Grey Wolves in the country spread in an area of about 16,000 acres. The sanctuary is home to leopards, bears, black bucks, deer, pythons among others.
Routine beats in forest areas by the staffers have not helped in sighting Grey Wolves for many years in the sanctuary nor have the staff traced pug marks or scat remains to establish that Wolves still exist in Melkote sanctuary, said a senior forest official to Deccan Chronicle on Saturday while a field staff at the sanctuary said “We get to see pug marks of leopards and other animals during our beats but no signs of Wolves.”
Though, not sure of the reasons behind the disappearance of Grey Wolves in the sanctuary, forest officials suspect that since leopard numbers have slightly increased in the region of Melkote, Grey Wolves might have left the place forever. The officials do not agree that Grey Wolves might have been poisoned by shepherds since Wolves are known to steal livestock from them.
To know more about Grey Wolves, foresters have spoken to villagers in the nearby villages of the sanctuary who said there were no sightings of Wolves in the villagers either for many years. Apart from cameras at the water holes of the sanctuary, forest officials are planning to get more cameras fitted near caves and hilly terrain to track the Wolves.