Jodhpur: Wolf is in high demand at all the zoos of the country. The declining population has led this schedule I animal near extinction with presence in Gujarat and Rajasthan only.
. . Recently, the Machia Biological Park at Jodhpur had a lion pair from Shakkarbagh Zoo in Junagarh (Gujarat) in exchange of a wolf pair, of which the female one is yet to be delivered.
. . Similarly, in order the get a pair of tiger from Bangalore, again a demand of a wolf pair has been placed by the zoo there in exchange of tiger's pair.
According to forest department, there are about 250 wolves reported to be in Gujarat whereas Rajasthan can smile to have a slightly bigger figure at about 300.
. . Amid such a gloomy scenario, while the Gujrat is going to set up artificial breeding centres for checking the dwindling wolf count, Rajasthan is yet to take steps.
. . Veterinarian of the forest department of Jodhpur, Shravan Singh Rathore, who has recently rescued four cubs of wolves from a den in Merta region of Nagaur district said that the animal has fast been losing its count in the state.
"The villagers are after it considering it to be a threat to their livestock. They either chase the animal out of its acclimatised territory or kill it by routing smoke into their dens by burning woods or other waste at the entrance of these dens," said Rathore.
. . Even during the rescue of these four cubs, the team guarded the den for two days but did not find any male or female wolf coming closure to the den. "A mother could not stay away this longer from its cubs, which meant that either the villagers killed her or chased her away for a long distance," he said.
. . In the rural areas, the spurt in the population of the neelgai (Blue Bull) known as "Rojada" in local parlance is attributed to the fall in wolves count in the region.
. . The causes, other than being the eye sore of villagers, attributed to slide in their count is the growing sowing acreage and dwindling feeding chain. They survive on small ruminants and due to erosion of scrub lands and ravines not only the ruminants are under threat but also leading to extinction of wolves.
. . According to Rathore, wolf likes to remain in solitary places and does not like human interference and these conditions are fast disappearing paving the way for its extinction