The task to rein in stray cattle would soon become easier in Himachal Pradesh as the Wildlife Department has come up the design of indigenous dart (tranquiliser) gun to help Forest Department officials.
The design has been prepared by divisional forest officer from Hamirpur, Krishan Kumar, and the dart gun is now in final stages of trial.
“It was observed in many cases of stray animals which are termed as dangerous to life and property, that the lack of tranquiliser guns was making it tough for Forest and other department officials to rescue and locate such animals to safe habitats,” Kumar told The Statesman.
It results in the Wildlife department officials flooded with calls to rent the tranquilizer gun which is specifically used or procured to rescue wild animals as leopards, bears etc.
However, the Wildlife Department had turn down such requests as the existing guns may develop some snags for the want of training to use the gun and besides, the repairs cost a huge sum.
“The spare parts of imported guns costs between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh and many a times, they had to be sent to Germany for repair which is always a costly affair,” he said.
The tranquilizer guns which are presently being used in Himachal Pradesh, are procured from Germany and the cost of each weapon is around Rs 1.50 to Rs 2 lakh.
And to solve the problem, Kumar, who himself had to turn down many requests for renting out the exported guns, decided to study the model and come up new solution.
This led to the designing of indigenous gun and Kumar used available resources at the local level to prepare a working model of the dart dun.
“I used locally made material for designing the gun and made use of barometer to generate pressure to fire tranquilizing darts,” he said.
The design of the dart is almost complete and it is now being tested on dummy animals to test its efficacy and accuracy.
“The Wildlife Department also discussed the model with Veterinary department officials and sought their suggestions to make it for effective and accurate to control stray animals from creating unruly scenes at public places,” he said.
Kumar said the initial testing of the gun had yielded desired results as its accuracy level is around 90-95 percent during its testing on dummy animals.
The gun could fire darts at its target at a distance 100 metres and if all goes well, the indigenous model could become cheaper option over the high priced imported tranquilizer guns.
The dart gun which would cost around Rs 25,000, could soon become an easy tools in tackling of stray animals by Forest department officials across the state, Kumar added.