Nearby at Hill View Farm, where resident and visiting volunteer staff live, IPAN's Animal Refuge shelters 70 donkeys and abandoned, sick, and injured cattle, ponies, dogs, cats, and a fluctuating number of many other animals needing special long-term care prior to being returned to their owners, or original habitat. Any day IPAN may have a dog with a broken pelvis or recovering from leg amputation, an orphaned wild boar piglet, or injured monkey requiring intensive care, or a group of people standing by the Animal Refuge gate with puppies, calves, and lambs in baskets and around their shoulders or in their arms all needing attention.
IPAN is restoring this farm, turning it into an oasis with an organic garden, biogas and solar or wind-power energy, that serves as a model for sustainable agriculture and resource use.
The Animal Refuge borders on the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary which is part of the United Nation-designated Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The region is home to a diversity of tribal peoples like the Todas, the "Honey Bee" and "Elephant" Kurumbas. It boasts the largest remaining elephant population in India and an incredible diversity of other fauna, like the Indian Guar or bison, Nilgiri langur monkey, endangered tiger, and panther. It is world-renowned for its bird life and flora, many plants being used by tribals for various medicinal and other traditional purposes.
But for the electrified fence around the farm buildings, elephants and panthers would be breaking in every night to respectively raid IPAN's fodder store and take the dogs for their dinner. Roof rats and cobras around the buildings constantly remind staff of their close proximity to the jungle. During the monsoons when the road washes out, IPAN staff uses its bullock cart, like a covered wagon, to transport injured ponies and other large animals.
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