Wular Lake flooding kills 70 sheep in Bandipora

The sheep were on a dry patch of land near the Wular banks when the incident happened, according to local witnesses
Wular Lake flooding kills 70 sheep in Bandipora
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Bandipora, April 17: At least 70 sheep perished while several more remain missing after sudden floods following morning rains in Wular lake in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Monday.

According to the locals and the shepherd overseeing the herd, sudden floods after morning rains in Wular Lake washed up the sheep, killing the majority of them in Lankreshipora village. Around 150 sheep were washed up in the flooding that hit Monday morning at around 7:30 am, according to the locals. Officials said 57 sheep were confirmed dead so far, and more remain missing.

The sheep were on a dry patch of land near the Wular banks when the incident happened, according to local witnesses. Ghulam Qadir, the shepherd, told reporters that sudden floods that occurred in the lake were deadly and that his 20-year-old son and his cousin had managed to survive by climbing trees. Qadir said they had been there for three days. Qadir also owned some share of the sheep.

"All the newborn and weak sheep have perished, around 150 in total are missing, among which 70 have been found dead," Qadir said, adding that locals with the help of a boat were able to rescue his son and his nephew.

The sheep, according to Qadir, belong to different owners, and he had been rearing them for almost eight years. Although, as per Qadir, an increase in water level was a regular phenomenon, this year it rose early. "We were about to shift from the area in four to five days, but this hit us unexpectedly," Qadir said.

One of the owners said that he received a sudden phone call from the shepherds who asked for help. He managed to reach the spot and help them and even managed to rescue over 50 sheep.

Dr Showkat Ahamd Ahanger, Chief Animal and Sheep Husbandry Officer Bandipora, confirmed the incident and told Greater Kashmir that he has visited the spot and that around "57 sheep have been confirmed dead." He said they have written to the authorities to compensate them under SDRF. He said the police have also been informed, and revenue teams have also taken note of the incident.

Ahmad said that the shepherds were transferring the livestock from one patch to another when suddenly water levels rose. He said the stronger among the livestock were able to swim across, however, the weaker and newborns could not cross and drowned to death. Ahmad said his team was able to rescue around 150 sheep.

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