Dead Giant Flying Squirrel, Agumbe

Vipin Baliga

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

This haunting image of a ‘crucified’ flying squirrel from the Agumbe rainforest reveals the unfortunate and unintended consequence of using fences in protected areas.

Came upon this sad sight recently. An Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis) is caught in a barbed wire fence near Agumbe (Shimoga district) in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. This animal must have suffered a slow and agonizing death entangled in the fence. Possibly, the squirrel had died a few days ago as the body was beginning to decompose.

A local said he saw a similar sight last year in the vicinity. Incidentally, that incident was also reported on Conservation India.

Indian Giant Flying Squirrels are among the two flying squirrel species found in the Western Ghats, the other being the Travancore Flying Squirrel. They are nocturnal arboreal mammals that glide from tree to tree with the help of a patagium (a furry membrane that extends from wrist to ankle).

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