The Forest Department has issued an alert in fear of washing away wild animals of the Sundarbans as the world's largest mangrove forest submerged by the high tide since Saturday with low pressure over the Bay of Bengal.
"Wildlife does not face difficulties in regular high tide. However, since last Saturday, the tide has been three to four feet higher in the forest," said Howlader Azad Kabir, in-charge of the Karamjol Eco-tourism Centre and Wildlife Reproduction Centre of the Sundarbans (East Division).
"Wildlife in the forest is suffering a lot. Especially, the cubs of deer, pigs and tigers do not survive when too much water submerges the entire Sundarbans as they cannot climb trees. Sometimes the cubs are washed away and animals try to find higher land in the forest," he added.
An alert has been issued to village tiger response teams (VTRTs) in areas close to the Sundarbans to save wild animals, including deer, pigs and tigers if they wash away by the high tide and enter nearby localities.
Jahirul Islam Jewel, station officer (SO) of Kalabogi station of the Sundarbans (West division), said the forest department now fears a large number of these baby animals and many reptiles might washed away by high tide as the forest highlands also flooded.
"The water level has started to go down a little since Tuesday. But last Sunday, the water rose to a maximum of 4 feet," he added.
To shelter animals during such high tides, plinths should be built inside the Sundarbans, they said.
According to the data of Bangladesh Water Development Board (PDB), at present the water in the rivers and canals of Khulna area has risen up to 3 feet above the danger level during tidal surges.
Ashraful Alam, executive engineer of PDB's Khulna office, said, "The water has started to go down since Tuesday and may be lower in the next days."
Md Amirul Azad, senior meteorologist of the Khulna met office, said a well-defined low pressure persists over central Madhya Pradesh and adjoining areas. Under its influence there are deep convection currents in the North Bay and adjoining coastal areas of Bangladesh.
"With air pressure changes due to gravitational pull during the full moon, the coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, and Bagerhat were inundated by tides 1-2 feet higher than usual."
Forest Officer Abu Naser Mohsin Hossain of the Sundarbans (West division) said, "An alert was issued for members of the village tiger response teams in villages near the Sundarbans. If any wild animals get washed away into nearby localities, they have been asked to rescue them or inform the forest department immediately."
As the southern part of the country is repeatedly hit by cyclones and tidal waves, sustainable measures are crucial to conserve forest animals in the face of natural calamities.
Mihir Kumar Doe, conservator of forests of the Khulna range, said, "Some plinths (small hills) will be made in some places of the Sundarbans to save wildlife during tidal surges. Under the Tiger Conservation Project, a project has been approved to make the plinths, but disbursement of funds has not started yet. If plinths are built, wild animals can shelter there during tidal surges."