Thursday, July 29, 2010

Report on Mass Killings of Wildlife in Orissa's Simlipal Forest

Indian elephants

Bengal tiger
The central government of Orissa has recently issued out a report indicating last month's mass slayings of elephants by poachers in the Simlipal forest. To make matters worse, the forest staff destroyed the evidences as a way to hide the incidents. The report also added that Simlipal's wildlife population, including tigers and elephants, is drastically diminishing. This was provided with citations of field records and statements from the forest staff, including the field director. According to the report, Simlipal has also been suffering from Maoist attacks and said that local villagers had admitted their "presence" in the area. Although there were two Social Operational Groups (SOGs) stationed in the forest, they never carried out patrols with the forest staff. This way, poachers and smugglers were being greatly benefited from the Maoist rebels.

I have a feeling that Simlipal is in a great need of help. It has not just been suffering from poachers, but also attacks from extremists. Therefore, the lives of both the forest staff and wildlife are at stake. Simlipal was known to be the first national park to be placed under Project Tiger. But now, it seems that it's tiger population is under tremendous threat as poachers and Maoist rebels pour into the jungles. I can only hope that central government of Orissa, along with several conservation groups and perhaps the Indian government will team up together to place an end on not just poaching activities but also the repeated Maoist attacks that have been terrorizing the state for a long time.

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