Population of pigs increasing thick and fast in Kashmir

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Pigs - Wild Boars
Representational Image

SRINAGAR — The wild boars, which are not natives to Kashmir and culturally and religiously unacceptable to people, have resurfaced much to the surprise of Wildlife experts.

CCTV footage shows the presence of scores of wild boars at Dachigam National Park in Srinagar outskirts.

Ironically, these wild boars threw a big challenge for the employees at Tulip Garden this year when these entered into the garden, forcing the people guarding the garden to go for fencing and keep strict vigil round the clock.

One of the employees, while confirming the presence of wild boars around Tulip and Botonical gardens of Srinagar, said that in coming years, it will be a big challenge to deal with these pigs as their population has been increasing despite the weather conditions that don’t suit these animals.

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A sounder of boars can be seen wandering in Dachigam Park and its adjoining farming fields.

Pigs are not native to Kashmir but were introduced by Dogra rulers for game hunting. Due to hostile weather, the population of pigs in Kashmir started diminishing and by the 1980s, wild boars virtually disappeared from Kashmir.

“It was 2013 when we spotted three pigs in Dachigam while doing research on Hangul. And today, their population has increased manifold which is surprising,” HoD Wildlife SKUAST, Dr Khurshid told the news agency KNT.

He said in the Uri area of north Kashmir, wild boars are found as their presence is in other parts of Kashmir forests due to the semi-tropical climate.

In the past, wild pigs have been sighted in many areas of north Kashmir, including Uri, Lachipora, Limber, Rafiabad, Rajwar and Balpur.

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Wildlife researcher, Auqib Rasheed said that the reason for its revival may be multi-factor. “Climate change can be one of the factors. We have been witnessing warm temperatures for the past few years,” he said, adding that the presence of these pigs is very dangerous for Kashmiri Hangul.

“Pig and Hangul will compete for habitat and food and it will prove disastrous for Hangul. Pigs create havoc in fields and damage crops,” he said.

Wildlife experts believe that if the population of wild boars is not curbed, they will prove newer and more difficult challenges to native animals, orchardists, and farmers. These animals have the potential to change the whole ecosystem.

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