Bhubaneswar: Officials of the Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary in Nuapada district have vaccinated around 7,000 cattle to prevent the transmission of viral diseases from livestock to wild animals.
The vaccination drive was taken up after a gap of six years. The sanctuary being a Maoist stronghold, veterinary doctors and forest officers couldn’t go to the villages through the forest. Villagers living in the sanctuary’s buffer areas rear the cattle, which go into the forest for grazing.
Divisional forest officer (Sunabeda) Viswanath Neelannavar said both veterinary doctors and forest personnel have launched the mobile vaccination drive for seven days.
“If livestock such as cows and buffaloes are vaccinated, the wild animals won’t contract diseases. Since it is not possible to keep the wild animals under direct watch to prevent diseases, we vaccinate the livestock,” said the senior wildlife officer.
According to official sources, the vaccination was carried out in Soseng, Cherehuan and Nuapada villages, which have a greater concentration of livestock. Spread over 600 sqkm, the Sunabeda sanctuary came under the Maoist influence in 2009. Since then, foot patrolling was hit.
However, officials of the wildlife wing had started winning the confidence of villagers to intensify conservation of forest and wildlife.
In another initiative, the sanctuary authorities for the first time took up controlled burning of small trees and bushes to allow people collect to mahua flower.