Wildlife and Conservation
Nigel Otter, the managing trustee and director of IPAN is well-experienced, recognized and very enthusiastic wildlife conservationist with solid understanding of the complexities of the human-animal conflict as well as its possible/ available solutions. Many a time with wild animals in distress and in need of help, the local Forest Department Officers have requested Nigel and the IPAN team to assist. Over the years more than 15 monkeys that were rescued from badly run mini-circuses, from being injured by traffic accidents or from simply being orphan have been reared and rehabilitated back to the wild by Nigel.
Vultures are an endangered species and vulture protection is a crucial matter where veterinary awareness of the dangers of diclofenac, a popular medicine to treat fever and pain in cattle, is very important. Nigel has represented IPAN in many forums to educate veterinarians and public about the fate of the vultures and how they can be saved. You can read and download one of our presentations regarding vultures from here.
Rivaldo, is a male elephant in the wild, whose trunk had been severely injured, leaving it 9 inches shorter than normal. With the cripple trunk, Rivaldo was not able to feed himself – especially when the fodder was scarce in the drought-hit Masinagudi-Mudumalai area. Together with the Forest Department, IPAN team started providing supplementary feed for the elephant, literally hand-feeding him in the beginning to allow the injured and infected trunk to heal. Rivaldo trusted his caregivers and allowed them to come very close but also understood his place in the nature and as the trunk became better he learned to use it against his front leg when taking food in to his mouth and begun to appear for the supplementary feeding session less and less frequently. This was very happy news for the caretaker team who saw that Rivaldo was now able to feed himself and so survive on its own in the wild.
IPAN has coordinated a group of village firefighters to battle the devastating forest fires often destroying large areas of forest land during the dry season. Forest fires kill many wild animals and force the survivors to seek new habitat from elsewhere. In the thickness of the bushes, the local tribal people who know the forest paths well, are the best to fight the fires. This is really hard work. We have also supported the Forest Departments efforts to prevent forest fires by distributing posters that remind people to be careful with fire and of the legal consequences of setting forest on fire.