Pune: This Time Indian Gaur Sent Back To Natural Habitat Without Any Harm

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Neha Panchamia

Bavdhan, December 23, 2020: Yesterday morning, once again a Gaur entered Pune City. When I was woken up with the call to quickly send the RESQ team to the location, I thought it was a mock drill after a training program.

It wasn’t a mock drill, a Gaur (Indian Bison) was in Pashan-Suttarwadi highway right next to urban settlements. The Pune Forest Department and our teams reached the locations first and immediately called the Pune Police for back up support, which they sent in full force promptly.

The Gaur was on the side of the highway and while it made several attempts to get on the highway, our teams managed to safely divert it, without putting it in panic, into a safe area away just off the highway.

resq bison gaur

Three members of the RESQ team stayed with the Gaur at a safe distance, tracking its movement and reporting to the rest of us waiting out of the radius of comfort. The Pune Police did a fantastic job keeping the traffic moving and ensuring the hundreds of people stayed on the outskirts of the periphery of where the teams were working. Forest Department officials and the RESQ team strategized decided that we needed to create a safe passage for this Gaurs exit into the nearby forest. Together, we organised resources we needed to create barricades and blockages so that he doesn’t enter the city or on the highway.

All this time, the animal was kept calm while we all worked from a distance. He sat, stood, ate, drank water from a canal and was kept extremely stress free from morning to evening (the same cannot be said for our stress levels, because all we were concerned about is him getting onto the highway and into the main city!)

By the evening, as soon as it got dark, we waited for him to move and diverted him to the place he needed to go for safe passage using visual blockades that were put up during the day. The Gaur made his way up the hill to safety while the teams tracked him from a safe distance.

It was almost surreal that we held a Training Program on Wildlife Conflict Response Management on Monday and every single thing we discussed was put into practice.

It would have been impossible without the support of the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Police maintaining order, the Forest Department’s DCF Rahul Patil, CCF Sujay Dodal, APCCF Sunil Limaye and Wildlife Veterinarian Dr Chetan Vanjari and RESQ teams working together, the PMC pitching in, the Fire Brigade, the public and media who cooperated with everyone working on the ground. The Gaur is safe, no human injured, no public property damaged. I am so proud of the entire team and everyone who worked beautifully in sync!!!

(Neha Panchamia is the founder president, RESQ Charitable Trust)

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