Can wild animal be domesticated as pet ?

By Bijay Kumar Sah Dhalkebar An Indian antelope, called Nilgai in Nepali, is found being kept as a pet by tying in its neck in Mithila Sagar, a tourist area in Dhalkebar, Dhanusha.

The Nilgai was also found being kept and fed alongside other domesticated animals in a cowshed, such as cows and buffaloes, and taken for grazing.

One year ago, a newborn calf was found in a bush near Mithila Sagar. It was brought and raised like a pet because it was too small to be left in the wild alone. When the people made multiple efforts to leave the quadruped in the forest after a year of rearing, it managed to return to the same place each time.

Devraj Ghimire, a member of the Mithila Sagar Conservation Committee, said that they have been keeping the Nilgai in a shed after it returned from the forest. He informed that it was rescued and cared for by feeding cow’s milk for two months.

Wildlife, including Nilgais, boars, and monkeys, have been straying into human settlements as the habitat and food they need are being increasingly scarce. Some have even been killed after being caught feeding off the crops.

Since many wild animals, including Nilgai and monkey, have become familiar with human beings, living with or in close proximity to human settlements, it can be said that most, if not all, wild animals can become pets, said Ghimire.

Minister for Industry, Tourism, and Forests of the Madhesh Province Government, Shatrudhan Mahato, said that it was sad the wild animals were being turned into pets. He informed that homework was being done to plant different species of fruit trees in the forest to retain the wild animals there.

Wildlife has started entering the human settlements of the Terai due to the ongoing development and construction in the hilly and forest areas, and destruction of their habitat, putting them at risk of extinction, he added.

To prevent this, it is important for all of us, including organisations working in the sector of conservation, to plant fruit trees in the forest and to protect their habitat against encroachment, said Minister Mahato.

Acting Division Chief of Dhanusha Sub-Divisional Forest Office, Suresh Sharma, said that in recent times, as water sources in the forest area are drying up, wild animals are entering human settlements in search of water.

According to Sharma, various species of fruit trees, including mango and blue berries, have been planted in different community forests of the district to keep the wildlife from straying into human settlements.The Rising Nepal

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