70-Year-Old Tamil Nadu Man Turns Fifty-Acre Farm into Habitat for Deer
R Gurusamy, who lives in Tamil Nadu’s Pudupalayam village, gave up his fifty-acre farm as safe haven to deer, consequently increasing the animal population from three to 1,800
People nowadays are least concerned about wildlife conservation and most keep on cribbing than actually looking for some genuine solutions. R Gurusamy, a seventy-year-old man who lives in Tamil Nadu’s Pudupalayam village, has redefined the meaning of humanity by giving up his farmland to create a protected habitat for deer and other animals.
Gurusamy gave up on his fifty-acre farm to provide a safe sanctuary to deer. For the past 20 years, the deer have made this farm their home and have been living peacefully among the domesticated animals including goats and cows. The deer population has increased from three to 1,800 on this farm.
The region has been experiencing drought conditions and shortage of rainfall for the past 25 years. River Khousikha used to have water for most of the year, but now runs dry. The groundwater table has also decreased owing to overexploitation of the water for irrigation. The deer must have faced the brunt of this…The deer made the land home. I eventually limited my farming area to 10 acres and gave away 50 acres for animals.
The man feels compassion towards deer and has used only ten acres out of his 60 acres of land for farming; the rest land provides habitat for deer and other animals.
The population of deer kept on increasing over the years but with the increased number of the species, some complications also aroused. The deer started crossing over to neighbouring farms and often damaged the crops in the process.
Since the village and neighbouring districts had rainfall shortage in the mid-2000, the other farmers felt threatened by deer as they would walk into farms in order to drink water from ponds and feed on crops. Some complained to the forest department and district officials.
A journalist from a local newspaper found about the distress and wrote about the wildlife in the area, which increased the range of visitors with promises to help but some cases of poaching were also reported.
In 2008 and 2010, C Balasundaram, Gurusamy’s friend helped him catch two poachers. He added;
We reported the issue to the forest department and have received constant support from the officials. They have promised us 24/7 assistance. To prevent the deer from venturing outside, I built a couple of ponds on the farm. The officials from the forest department fill the water during peak summer months.
The seventy-year-old man started receiving help from the officials, environmentalists and some NGOs toward wildlife conservation. In the absence of any predators, the population of deer has boomed in this mini forest. Owing to the increasing threats on the species, Gurusamy had to ask the officials for reallocation of deer to a safer place but transferring them has its own challenges.
Gurusamy is indeed an inspiration for many who wish to do something for the wild. In these perilous times of climate change, such initiatives can help wildlife species survive the threat of extinction.
Via: The Better India