PASIGHAT- ( Maksam Tayeng ) While showing love for the wild animals as a part of human-animal co-existence, a Slow Loris was rescued and handed over to the Range Office of Pasighat Forest Range under Pasighat Forest Division on last Saturday by a person who has said to have rescued the primate when the animal was seen venturing in his house premises.
But before the office staff could record the name and address of the rescuer by informing the higher authority next door, the good Samaritan is said to have moved on by then. However, the rescued Slow Loris was released in Pasighat RF near 21 Mile led by Niraj Tamuk, RFO accompanied by Tabang Gaduk, Beat Officer and other staffs.
While releasing the Slow Loris back in the forest, Niraj Tamuk, RFO who is a Gold Medalist for his outstanding services in rescuing captive Wildlife Elephant calf in the past when he was Range Officer, Mebo RF, said that he is very thankful to that unknown person who rescued and handed over the primate to the forest department.
“Such noble gesture from the general public is very appreciable and his act of kindness toward wildlife will go a long way in conservation and protection of wildlife for human-animal coexistence. And through this press statement I would also like to request that person to visit my Pasighat Range office to register his name so that I could recommend his name to the higher authorities for acknowledging his good deeds by issuing a letter of appreciation”, added Tamuk.
Tamuk also informed that the Slow Loris species come under schedule-I animals of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and is listed as either ‘vulnerable’ or ‘endangered’ on the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. All slow lorises are threatened by the wildlife trade and habitat loss. Their habitat is rapidly disappearing and becoming fragmented, making it nearly impossible for Slow Lorises to disperse between forest fragments; unsustainable demand from the exotic pet trade and from traditional medicine has been the greatest cause for their decline in population.
When asked about the protection of forests under Pasighat RF which was a hot topic in recent time for illegal mass felling of trees which also results in habitat loss for wildlife, Tamuk as new RFO who took charge of the Pasighat RF recently, assured to check all such illegalities of illegal felling including complete halt on illegal hunting prevalent in the RF.
Meanwhile, Divisional Forest Officer, Pasighat Forest Division, Dr. Hano Moda has deeply appreciated the effort of rescue and handing over of the primate to the forest department by that unknown rescuer. “Slow Loris is a harmless and one of endangered species which needs to be protected among others. When we put effort into protecting and preserving wild animals, forest is automatically protected as without habitat we can’t imagine to protect them and when habitat i.e. forest is protected every natural heritage is protected, which in turn gives us much needed healthy ecosystem services.
This gesture of kindness from primate rescuers is important especially for Pasighatian brethren and Adi community as a whole, because the much popular traditional practices of hunting has in recent time diverted attention of wildlife lovers and it has not gone down well with the wildlife lovers”, said Moda. I appreciate such an act of kindness and would like to see more of such contribution in preservation of our wild heritage, added the DFO.
It is important to mention here that, there have been growing cases of Slow Loris coming to human habitation and settlement areas in the recent past. In this connection several numbers of Slow Lorises have been rescued and released back both in the Pasighat Reserved Forests and in D. Ering Wildlife Sanctuary in recent years. The scientific, natural and local cause of such continuous migration of these primates to the human settlement areas need to be studied thoroughly.
Locally called ‘Besung Raye’ in Adi and ‘Lajuki Bandor’ in Assamese, these primate’s intruding into human settlement areas and houses are traditionally believed to be unnatural and shows bad omen. Due to such intrusions into human settlement areas, several Slow Loris have been found to be injured and killed by dogs and other ignorant people including some getting electrocuted for climbing and clinging on electric poles in the past.