SHILLONG: A serious concern is being raised over the possible extinction of the animals inhabiting the Nongkhyllem Forest Sanctuary in Ri-Bhoi district on account of the rapid illegal felling of trees for timber smuggling which is currently happening in the sanctuary.

It is learnt that at present, the forest sanctuary covers an area of 100 square kilometres including an additional area of 6.2 kilometres, acquired by the Government in 2002. Nongkhyllem sanctuary is the habitat for elephants, deer, wild pigs, amongst other animals although elephants number highest in population inside the sanctuary.