Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pakistan's Chinkara Gazelle Slaughter- A Political Connection

Chinkara (Indian gazelle)

When most people of India think about the Indian gazelle, known locally as "chinkara", they think of Salman Khan. The reigning superstar had a brush with the law back in 1998 for allegedly shooting the petite creature along with another graceful antelope, the blackbuck, during the filming of Hum Saath Saath Hain: We Stand United. The incident had sparked a major outrage, particularly among the Bishnoi people who are known for their deep love for nature and wildlife. Now, there has been another tragic incident involving this gorgeous gazelle not in India but in Pakistan.

A group of hunters had slaughtered forty chinkaras in Pakistan's Punjab province. Even more shocking is that the killers belong to the nation's well-connected political families. The incident had occurred in Bahawalpur area, and thought to have been one of the most serious massacres of wildlife according to News International. The killers used spotlights on their vehicles as a way to confuse the gazelles and subsequently paralyze them, and shot them at close range. According to Punjab's wildlife department sources, they had received information about some powerful hunters. An inquiry was in process to catch on the facts. According to Babar Hassan Bharwana, Secretary for Wildlife of Punjab, he was met with a hunter ten days ago about a large number of chinkara illegally hunted.

It is extremely appalling, yet saddening to see such a magnificent creature suffer in the hands of people who seem to have no remorse or feelings for at all. Normally, poachers are the ones who behave this way but sometimes the perpetrators could be powerful people like a film celebrity or in this case members of political families. What really shocked me about this article is that although this gazelle is protected, the nation of Pakistan issues licenses for restricted hunting which is something India does not allow. I personally feel that Pakistan should reconsider its wildlife laws, and provide strong protection to its wildlife in such a way that legalized hunting should not be practiced. After what these members of political families did, I fear that the effect of this incident might draw regular civilians down to places rich with wildlife and slaughter it in any way possible.

View article here  

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