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Subadh Kumar Nayak

Jajpur: Scorching heat after cyclone Fani has not only thrown normal life of humans out of gear, but also has posed a threat to the birds and animals in the State challenging their ability to survive. In Kabatabandha village of Jajpur district, the intense heat wave conditions post the severe cyclonic storm has become a life threat for the endangered bats, which are usually seen as a sign of good luck.

For hundreds of years now, Kabatabandha village has been a safe habitat for the bats where their screech can be heard through out the day. However, hundreds of bats were killed in the cyclone, and those who survived are reeling under scorching heat now.

Some of the village youths give them water when they fall down battling the intense heat wave condition, though many bats have fallen prey to the poachers.

As Kabatabandha has been a safe dwelling place for the endangered birds for hundreds of years, some villagers along with the local businessmen and youths of the area have joined hands to work for the safety of the birds. They sprinkle water in the trees where the bats live and provide medication to the injured birds during summer season. However, the locals are now unhappy over the Forest Department’s alleged inaction in protecting these bats.

“We take care of the bats by providing them water. We also provide them treatment when they either fall sick or are injured. But, after the cyclone, now they are in danger. Most of them died. Now many are falling prey to the poachers and some to the scorching heat. The state government should make some necessary arrangements so that the endangered birds will be safe and live here for long,” said Kalandi Charan Pani, a local resident.

The locals consider bats as a good omen and there is even a popular good luck sign in the area.

“We believe that things turn out to be auspicious when we go out after coming across the bats. We had been several initiatives for their safety. But, some poachers have become so active that we are now unable to do so. The bats would continue to live here for long and multiply, if the State government takes initiatives for their safety,” said Paramananda Sahoo, another native.

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