Penru-The Hibernation Roost of Bats in Countryside
—– By Shri Gijum Tali
District information & Public Relation officer
West Siang Dist, Aalo.
Aalo, Sept 12: Penru, a hibernation roost for bats near Larmuk Potom village, 9 km away from Darak Circle in West Siang district is one of the largest and deepest homes of the flying mammals. Though such roost are located in many places like Poyom, Kunuyami and other villages but the roost caved deep in the rocky hillock near Larmuk Potom is famous through the ages to witness fluttering of bats through the evening sky in such a huge quantity even obstructing passersby and dropping into houses in plenty in those olden days. These bats were seen at their playful best in large number just after the sunset from the month of March to October. It was total hibernation in winter as few bats were seen flying around perhaps for food, drink and rehydrate using a combination of echolocation and receptor to navigate the winter nights and spine chilling cold wave that use to sweep that particular location. Though the population of the bats has dwindled drastically over the years, Penru at Larmuk Potom still shelters the black species of these flying mammals today also.
The recent visit to Penru by a team dragged our memories to drift down the memory lanes, a nostalgic childhood reminiscences of playing with bats with bamboo sticks and many bats were smashed down, pocketed and brought home, interestingly measuring our calibre on the basis of number bats killed by each child. Our infancies knew nothing about love for animals and birds and just derived pleasantest things playing with the lives of playful bats. These flying mammals use too loom large after sunset of a bright sunshine when flying insects from the holes of the soil use to come out in large quantities after preceded by rainfall for few days. The evening sky was crowded with flies and bats and that was the moment the children of our age groups used to venture out as third party to interfere in the predator-prey war.
Sadly, rare species and rich varieties of mammals, animals, birds and fishes have diminished from our ecosystem to dislodge the balance of nature. Deforestation in large scale in the name jhum cultivation for sustenance, logs for infrastructure and fire woods for domestic uses has destroyed the natural homes of the animals and birds. But then we still have places of interests associated with tribal might and mythologies nestled in the bosom of nature in utter solitude. We are unique in the sense that we still delve into our rich culture, folklores, folktales, myth and mythologies and other age old values through orally transmitted literature handed down to us by our forefathers from generation to generation in the absence of written literature.
What we want today is ecotourism to unearth such places of interests and open up trekking tracks to promote adventure tourism in the countryside too. We had enough of wayside amenities in the name of promoting tourism to present a sad picture as many of such assets are kept unused, turning into a places of nuisances and made to rot barring few Resorts like PP Tourist Guest House on the left bank of Yomgo River at Aalo and other such assets in other districts. The tiny Darak Circle offers one such potential Walking Track touching Benji Liine, proposed Yordi Rube Subse Wild Life Sanctuary, Penru, Bebe Liine and as we transcend down it is two hours drive to visit Topo Gone and Sirurijo under Yomcha Subdivision. It will be best of interest if Department of Tourism is armed with such imaginative blueprint to explore the places of tourist interest in the countryside too.
The ambitious schemes placed by Aalo Forest Division at Bahadur Hill and right Banks of Yomgo at Paya village is an encouraging trend towards promotion of ecotourism to open up adventurous tourism avenues for domestic and foreign tourists who love to trek living with beauties of nature. Today health conscious people want open spaces to trek and fresh air to breathe than to walk in the busy townships streets only to gather dust and smokes.