Friday was a bad day for wildlife, as a bear was knocked dead at Liver Nunbal Road.
The animal was perhaps hit while crossing the road. According to SNN Correspondent, its was spotted by locals on Friday morning lying injured on the roadside.
The rapid expansion of roads and highways through Forest Areas or Protected Areas, is one of the most serious threats to the wildlife today. The road kills have been recorded almost from every state of the country and not necessarily within the Protected Areas/Forests, as the wild animals do not recognise these administratively created boundaries. More so, the animals don’t recognise road as a hazard. In our Kashmir Valley, roads do pass through the forests and even through the Protected Areas.
The question comes what to do? Under “The Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Protection Act 1978 AA 2002” killing of any wild animal by any means is an offence, until and unless proves otherwise. Since, it is very difficult to know who has hit the wild animal on the road, making it impossible to convict the culprit in the absence of the concrete evidences.
The Department of Wildlife Protection, J&K Govt. has placed sign boards on the road sides with the messages “you are passing through wildlife areas, drive slowly”. We must drive slowly and carefully in wildlife/forest areas, the speed limit should not be more than 20 km per hour. And in certain cases the night traffic on the roads passing through the protected areas/ national parks have been banned, like the ban on night traffic on National Highway 766 passing through the Bandipur National Park. The other option could be to have speed breakers after every 100 metres on the roads passing through Protected Areas/forests so that the drivers will not get a chance to overspeed and accidents can be avoided.
Though experts say that these accidents indicate that the mitigation measures taken by the department are not sufficient.