Sangareddy: This is something to cheer about for wildlife lovers. A smooth-coated otter, which has not been seen for more than two years in Hyderabad, was sighted in Himayat Sagar lake in Rangareddy district by a couple of birders.
The smooth-coated otter, classified as an endangered animal by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), was sighted two years ago in Kapra Lake.
Two seasoned birders Srikanth Bamidipati and Gokul Krishna Addanki, who were on a casual birding trip to Himayat Sagar, sighted the otter. The birders, who also captured the multiple pug marks of the animal in different sizes, believe that a pack of otters might be living in Himayat Sagar lake.
While coronavirus brought out a leopard and civet cat to the streets of the State capital on Thursday, the sighting of the smooth-coated otter has surprised many. Since the animal was never sighted in these parts of Telangana in the past, Prof C Srinivasulu, Assistant Professor at Department of Zoology, Osmania University, observed that low human disturbance could be one of the reasons for animals coming out of their deep habitats.
The smooth-coated otter, which primarily feeds on fish, crabs, shrimps, and prawns, was last sighted in Gundlapally lake of Nalgonda district by a photojournalist last January. Fishermen of Panagal had also sighted the otter in Udayasamudram reservoir the same month.
However, the Forest Department does not have any accurate information about the population and presence of otters in Telangana though it was spotted in River Manjeera, Lower and Upper Manair dams, Shanigaram Lake, Dharmapuri, Gaderu, Kinnarasani, Ramappa, Eturanagaram, Pakhal, Laknavaram, Kadem and a few other lakes across Medak, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Adilabad districts.
The sighting of the mammal in Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts gives credence that it is exploring new habitations.
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