Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Kangaroo in Kolkatta

For sure, you have watched Cricket matches downunder .. .. observed their logo ? -  A Kangaroo depiction also features on The Australian Cricket Brand Logo on their Baggy Green Caps which The Australians wear with pride.  


The animal Kangaroo is special to Australia – understand that the word kangaroo derives from the *Guugu Yimithirr word gangurru, referring to eastern grey kangaroos. The name was first recorded as "kanguru" on 12 July 1770 in an entry in the diary of Sir Joseph Banks; this occurred at the site of modern Cooktown, on the banks of the Endeavour River, where HMS Endeavour under the command of Lieutenant James Cook was beached for almost seven weeks to repair damage sustained on the Great Barrier Reef.  Cook first referred to kangaroos in his diary entry of 4 August.

A common myth about the kangaroo's English name is that it was a Guugu Yimithirr phrase for "I don't know" or "I don't understand".  According to this legend, Cook and Banks were exploring the area when they happened upon the animal. They asked a nearby local what the creatures were called. The local responded "kangaroo", said to mean "I don't know/understand", which Cook then took to be the name of the creature.   

This peculiar animal “Kangaroo” is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning "large foot"). In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, the red kangaroo, as well as the antilopine kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, and western grey kangaroo.  Kangaroos are indigenous to Australia and New Guinea. The Australian government estimates that 42.8 million kangaroos lived within the commercial harvest areas of Australia in 2019, down from 53.2 million in 2013.

In general they are not found elsewhere  - not even in the nearest country New Zealand, where too, it can be found only in Zoos.  .. .. so it was a big surprise when some villagers  walking along a road on the edge of a forested village in eastern India first saw three confused, weak and hungry animals, they couldn't believe what they were witnessing.

The animals looked nothing like anything they had seen before. They alerted West Bengal state's forest officials, who told them that the animals were kangaroos - native to Australia but not found in India. The animals were rescued and sent to a wildlife park to be treated. One died later. The villagers were still confused and surprised with what they had seen. Soon, videos of the kangaroos in India went viral. According to Wildlife Warden of West Bengal,   the animals were most likely left in the open during an anti-smuggling operation by his team.

When he received a tip-off that some exotic animals were being smuggled into the state, he immediately alerted his team. Acting quickly, the officers started checking vehicles along one of the main routes to enter the state. "The smugglers probably got wind of it, and abandoned the animals on the highway," Mr Ray said. "They probably ended up here from private breeding farms in southeast Asia," Agni Mitra, deputy director of the regional Wildlife Control Bureau, told the BBC, adding that smugglers often bring non-native, exotic animals to India's border states through Myanmar.

In April, two men were arrested when a red kangaroo was found in their truck during a routine police check on a highway close to West Bengal's border with the north-eastern state of Assam. The men told forest officials that they had been handed these kangaroos at a farm in Mizoram, another state in the north-east, to be taken to a zoo in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. "They produced a supply order from the zoo, and the zoo even confirmed it," Mr Mitra said. The zoo's curator told a news website that they had been "offered the consignment as a gift". "Clearly this is a case of smuggling - the supply order was in the name of a farm in Mizoram, which does not even exist," Mr Ghosh said, explaining that under CITES provisions, protected animals have to be declared on a government website.

"There is no declaration of any kangaroos from any farm in Mizoram in government records," Mr Mitra said. Meanwhile, the two kangaroos, rescued by forest officials are being treated in the Bengal Safari Park, and are making good progress. "They have some muscle atrophy, which is common in kangaroos when they are squeezed into small spaces while being smuggled," Mr Ray explained. "If they feel at home, maybe we can display them [to the zoo-going public]. But they have to spend their life in a zoo. We cannot release them into the wild as India is not their natural habitat."

Interesting and what a pity of life for those animals, which otherwise would have lived happily with their expanded family in Australia, ending up thousands of mile elsewhere !! 

Guugu Yimithirr,   is an Australian Aboriginal language, the traditional language of the Guugu Yimithirr people of Far North Queensland. It belongs to the Pama-Nyungan language family. Most of the speakers today live at the community of Hope Vale, about 46 kilometres (29 mi) from Cooktown.  As such, efforts are being made to teach it to children of the tribe. Guugu Yimithirr is the source language of the word kangaroo.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


No comments:

Post a Comment