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Sugar cane cutting comes to halt over bison sightings

Kolhapur: The sugar cane crushing season is at its peak, but the cutting activity has taken a break following the sighting of bison in the farms around Kolhapur city.

The work of sugar cane cutting has been put on hold in most of the fields in Vadange, Shiye, Peth Vadgaon and Chikhli village as well as in the areas like Kasba Bawda, Bhosalewadi, Nagala park riverside belt.

Ravindra Jagtap, a farmer from Vadange village, said, “On Thursday morning, I spotted a bison coming towards our village after crossing Panchganga river. It settled in the Powar panand area. I asked my farm workers to go back to their homes. The death of a youth in Bhuyewadi is still fresh in our minds and I don’t want to put my own or others’ lives at risk.”

While fields are usually abuzz with workers at this time of the year, only a few farmers were seen working in the farms in the past two days.

Pundlik Mane from Chikhli village said, “Bison is a silent animal and doesn’t attack unless it feels threatened. Although I tried to convince the sugar cane cutters, they have refused to work due to the fear of bison. I am doing the work alone in my farm by taking some risk.”

While Mamta Khilare, a sugar cane cutter sitting idle in a farm near Rajaram barrage, said, she had been hearing several rumours of bison sightings in the area.

“As the animal prefers to take rest in sugar cane farms and also likes to eat the cane, we can’t be sure that the bison will not suddenly appear in front of us in the farm and or harm us. Hence, we have stopped our work. We have informed our contractor that we won’t work unless the bison is sent back,” she told TOI.

Meanwhile, the forest department has advised the farmers to not to go to the farms at night. Even if a bison is spotted suddenly, one should not chase the animal or try to harm it. The animal will continue on its path without harming anyone, the forest officials said. Citizens have been asked to call on 1926 tollfree number of the forest department to inform about the animal sighting.

The above news was originally posted on

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