Saturday, September 06, 2008

'Chinkaras killed for meat'


'Chinkaras killed for meat'

Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik


AHMEDABAD: The lions in Gir may have been poached for their bones, claws and hide, but chinkaras are killed only for feasts, confirm foresters.


Forest officials also agree that although these incidents are rarely reported, they are rampant. Navin Bapat, a wildlife activist working in Kutch, says, "In the past, Kutchi community people would gather on Dhuleti day and move out in the jungle hunting whatever animal came their way. The people would later feast on the game in the evening."


However, according to Bapat, this practice has stopped for the past few years. He said that though this could be termed as the first incident of poaching using guns, poaching using sharp weapons and traps, which create less commotion, cannot be ruled out. "Some notorious people are involved in the poaching and it is they who are handling the entire operations," says Bapat.


Officials say that a handful in the meat-eating community is involved in poaching. They recall how poaching incidents were reported when any major guest visited these areas. An official said that not many incidents of poaching come to light as they happen after dark and the carcass is disposed of. Jugal Tiwari, another wild life activist, says, "A handful of anti-social elements are involved in poaching. These are rare instances, but when they come to light the forest officials should take them seriously and punish those guilty."


Admitting that chinkaras were killed only for eating, conservator of forest RL Meena said that "there are several communities which relish deer meat". He clarified that contrary to rumours of eight Chinkaras being killed, only one was actually killed. Meena said that the officials have detained one person.

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