Coimbatore

Coimbatore sees 11 wildlife offences during lockdown

Snares used to trap hares seized by the Forest Department in Coimbatore

Snares used to trap hares seized by the Forest Department in Coimbatore   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The cases are of people hunting, or attempting to hunt animals such as hares, wild boar and spotted deer that stray into human habitations

In the five weeks or so of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, the Forest Department in Coimbatore has sen 11 cases of wildlife offences, where people have hunted or attempted to hunt wild animals that stray into human habitations.

All cases were reported in private or poramboke lands adjoining forest areas. Persons involved in these offences either hunted or attempted to trap animals like hares, wild boars and spotted deer. The maximum number of persons caught by the Department attempted to ensnare hares.

Officials with the Forest Department say that those involved in the poaching and poaching attempts could have committed the offence as they were without jobs at home, due to the lockdown.

It is also learnt that the demand for meat of such animals went up in rural areas when restrictions were imposed on the functioning of meat stalls as part of the lockdown.

As per details provided by the Forest Department, 42 persons were fined since April 4. The fines ranged from ₹5,000 to ₹20,000 per head.

In two cases, Forest Department staff seized meat of wild boars and spotted deer from the accused involved. Other cases were related to laying of snares for trapping hares, a species that is widely found in bushes and grasslands in rural areas and private lands lying close to forest. Like hares, wild boars and spotted deer too, stray into farm lands.

In one of the cases reported on April 6 in the limits of Periyanaickenpalayam forest range, the owner of a farm found that his cow died after it accidentally stepped on or chewed an ‘avittukai’, a crude explosive used to hunt wild boar. “He alerted Department about the incident. During the investigation, it was found that three persons had placed the explosive in his farmland for poaching purposes. They had also placed snares in which a spotted deer was trapped. It was saved and released,” said D. Venkatesh, District Forest Officer, Coimbatore Forest Division.

The official said that a team led by foresters conducts patrols in places adjoining forests every day. During such patrols, they either find snares or persons laying them.

Mr. Venkatesh added that no cases of poaching or poaching attempts were reported inside the forests during the lockdown period.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 4:10:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/coimbatore-sees-11-wildlife-offences-during-lockdown/article31462149.ece

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