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Riverside Havoc: Otters Fuel Human-Animal Conflict in Kozhikode

Stray dogs, wild boars, gaurs, and elephants are not the only animals causing conflicts in Kerala. Otters, small yet fierce, have become a major threat along the rivers in Kozhikode. Over a hundred otter attacks have been reported since 2020, impacting residents of several grama panchayats. The recent incident involved two children who were attacked at Karatt Kadavu of Iruvazhinji in Kodiyathur.

Trapping attempts by the Forest Department have proven futile so far. The local community organized a “people’s bath fest” to revive river reliance but the otter attacks persisted. The Forest Department, focused on tackling wild boar and gaur attacks, considers fences as a potential solution.

Additionally, illegal dumping of slaughter waste in rivers has contributed to the issue. Dr. PO Nameer suggests effective intervention from local authorities to resolve this man-made human-animal conflict.

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