The West Bengal Forest Department on Tuesday said it has received reports of presence of a wolf in a village surrounding the Sundarbans mangrove forests.
However, the department has quashed reports of presence of a wolf in the forests itself, amid speculations of the first photographic evidence of the animal in the entire Sunderbans spanning India and Bangladesh. A picture was recently clicked by naturalist Riddhi Mukherjee at Jatirampur village.
"There is likelihood of the presence of only one wolf in the village... but not in the forests. In the history there has never been any wolf in the Sundarbans forests and the area doesn't have the habitat to sustain wolves," West Bengal Chief Wildlife Warden Pradeep Vyas told IANS.
Vyas said department officials have not spotted the animal but it has been sighted by locals.
"We have seen the photographs taken by the locals and other people. They are certainly of value but our people have not seen. Most people have seen the pug marks of one animal. We have placed camera traps and if it is only one, which is most likely, we will have to capture it," he added.
Mukherjee said he had shared the photo, taken on April 14 in Jatirampur village, with wildlife experts.
"They confirmed it as a wolf," Mukherjee told IANS.
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