With cyclone ‘Amphan’ set to lash the coastal areas of West Bengal on Wednesday, the State Forest department on Tuesday formed rapid response teams to ensure that tigers from Sundarbans in South 24 Parganas district do not stray into nearby human settlements after the landfall.

May 19 updates on Cyclone Amphan

Chief Wildlife Warden Ravi Kant Sinha said a control room had been set up at Gosaba in the district to monitor the situation in the mangrove jungles 24×7.

The department’s central control room in the Salt Lake area will be in constant touch with the Gosaba unit and keep a close watch on wildlife movement in the forest.

“If there are attempts by tigers to stray from the core reserve area into the contiguous villages, we will be able to notice that from the two control rooms and our rapid response teams will take steps to send back the animal to its habitat,” he explained.

Also read: Kolkata hunkers down ahead of Amphan landfall

The response teams have been deployed in Sajnekhali and Jharkhali of South 24 Parganas with tranquilliser guns, net and speed boats to negotiate the creeks crisscrossing the forest.

A Forest department official said residents, especially the fishermen community, in Gosaba, Dayapur, Balidwip, Sajnekhali, Pakhirala, had been asked to exercise caution while venturing out.

“We are using microphones to warn people against venturing out into the tiger reserve to catch crabs, shrimps or collect honey,” Mr. Sinha added.

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