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The Sleepless Sentinel

Singalila Panda dies unnatural death
Conservationists cry Negligence

Staff reporter, NINB, Singalila: One of the most critically endangered species in India is the Red Panda which is found in only specific forests locations of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri. But due to habitat loss and various nature induced factors they are on the brink of extinction. Therefore, desperate attempts are taken up in order to save the specie from extinction.

The famous Singalila National Park was been declared for the Red Pandas as it is a protected wildlife sanctuary. Apart from their natural conservation, a captive breeding program has also been introduced at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling so that even if they become extinct from nature, they could be reintroduced through their germ plazam preserved in the zoo.

A’ save Red Panda’ endeavor is at progress in Darjeeling. The wildlife 1 division is under Singalila National Park of Darjeeling and the wildlife 2 division is under Neora Valley National Park of Jalpaiguri under the state’s forest department. Visible reluctance as well as negligence is quite prevalent when it comes to their conservation. At least this is what the conservationists are saying. Moreover, the unnatural death of a Red Panda in Singalila has proved this once again that the Pandas are a neglected lot who will soon become a thing of the past. On 2nd April, 2015, the remains of the Red Panda were brought to Darjeeling zoo for post mortem. Although the investigation reports were quite shocking to the wild life experts. According to sources, a few days ago, a little male Red Panda was brutally killed by a dog ! in Dhotre block situated under Singalila National Park. Now what raises question is, being a tree dweller mammal, how can a Red Panda be killed by a dog? The Red Panda’s natural predator is the clouded leopard that has to climb trees in order to prey on them. So how come a straying dog be present at such high altitudes. So, had there been an implication of a wild Dog in this context? These are the technical questions asked by researchers. But incidents as these questions the credibility and responsibility of the so called duty bound forest department and its officials dependability to protect such critically endangered specie who are constantly losing their lives due to negligence .In this regard, the noteworthy places in Singalila National Park where once the Red Pandas were found in abundance were Tunglu, Bashbati, Bijonbari,Dabanroad, Rammam river, Jhepi, Kakiabong, Namla, Rodhnama, Rimbik, sonbaria, Bharang, Boiribash which has almost dissolved due to socio-economic causes along with their habitat loss, the major factors behind their endangered status. Only time will tell whether they will be able to mark their existence even in the following decades to come or will they be found only in the pages of history?