Chamarajanagar: Is the wildlife in the Bandipur National Park at risk from the plastic dumped in its grounds by visitors? Nagarjuna, A researcher in geology at the University of Mysore was on a visit to the Male Mahadeshwara Temple in Tavarakatte recently when he came across a plastic cover in elephant dung in the core area of the park. A red flag that the tusker had consumed it while feeding in its grounds!
This is not the first time Mr. Nagarjuna has come across plastic in elephant dung here. Several months ago he also found similar dung while helping to fight a fire in the park, he says. Bandipur park official reveal that they have come across plastic in the belly of a couple of deer carcasses during necropsy.
Warns the concerned researcher, "Plastic consumed by wild animals can result in indigestion and cause infection in the digestive system owing to toxic chemicals used in its manufacture. When plastic gets into the belly of grazing animals, even carnivores like tigers and leopards that prey on them, suffer."
Mr Nagarjuna strongly suggests that steps should be taken to curb the littering in the forests in the interests of the wildlife and the environment.
Bandipur park director, Balachandra said that a 10-member team had been formed specifically to collect plastic and other rubbish on National Highway 67, linking Ooty and NH-766 , which passes through the park.
And penalties as high as Rs 1,000 had been imposed on those guilty of dumping plastic in its grounds, he revealed.
The park also plans to shift the safari to Melukammanahalli to curb littering in the forests, he said....