The Delhi University’s biophysics laboratory in the South Campus saw an unusual guest on Wednesday — an Asian Palm Civet.
As a postgraduate student entered the laboratory in the morning, she found muddy paw prints and, on following the trail, found the animal hiding in a cabinet.
An NGO — Wildlife SOS — was called to rescue the animal. The civet was soon released into the woods near the campus.
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The Asian Palm Civet is a protected species and is rarely found in the midst of urban setting.
According to the NGO, it is also called a toddy cat and is a member of the family Viverridae — native to South and Southeast Asia. “They can survive in a wide range of habitats and can be seen in urban environments, but quite rarely, as they tend to be shy and wary of humans. They are an omnivorous species that feed on fruits, berries, coffee beans, insects and small mammals,” read a statement issued by Wildlife SOS.
The DU’s south campus is located right next to the Delhi Ridge and the civet is believed to have strayed in from the reserved forest.
“The plight of urban wildlife is often dismissed because city dwellers consider them to be a nuisance. But we are glad to see that people are becoming more sensitised towards the presence of wild animals in the national capital region,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS.
Last month, in a Gurgaon village, a leopard was beaten to death with sticks and stones after it injured a few villagers.