Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
Linear infrastructure projects such as roads and railways are big threats to wildlife and are present everywhere. Mitigation measures need to be adopted on a war footing at least inside PAs that have roads running through them like this one.
We were on an evening safari at Nagarahole national park on 9th June 2018. Because of incessant rains we had little wildlife sightings and decided to return when the downpour got heavy. We had reached the tarmac road connecting Mysuru (Mysore) to Kerala (State highway 33) and our driver stopped the safari vehicle. I was aghast to see the sight of a mother and baby langur lying on the road. I realized that the langurs had been tragically runover by a speeding vehicle. The baby langur was motionless and had probably died on the spot and the adult langur was lying on its belly with its tail cut-off and gasping for air.
Our driver and guide was shocked and grief stricken but told us that it was prohibited to get out of the vehicle. I realized that there was no chance to save the lives of the langurs. The injury to mother langur was very severe and it was dying. I clicked a few pictures and was numbed into silence. It was still raining and few more vehicles had stopped behind us. Someone from another vehicle and our driver walked towards them and shifted them to the side of the road. We continued our journey back and informed the authorities at the gate. It was very disturbing and sad end to our day.
The state highway passing through Nagarahole Tiger Reserve is a significant threat to wildlife and drivers (most of them commercial) drive fast and recklessly. The speed limit was 20 km per hour on that stretch.
We need to preserve our natural heritage or this will be lost forever. Drive slowly and carefully in wildlife areas. We share our world with other creatures. Live and let them live.