Sunday, March 2, 2014

Infamous Poaching Tribe in India Fools Forest Officials

Leopard skins

It has recently been reported that poachers belonging to the infamous Bawariya community have made clever changes in their strategy to conduct their big cat hunting operations. Earlier, they used to pitch tents which made them visible for forest officials to target, but now they have resorted to rent houses near the areas to carry out their activities. Members of this tribal community live with their families at the target area, and study the area for at least two months before planning to hunt big cats. In addition, they also easily blend in with the locals to baffle any post-hunting inspections and would immediately move out of their rented property after hunting and leave the state. Furthermore, members also involve family members especially children and women so that they are not easily suspected. On February 22, Ghaziabad police arrested one member named Prakash, a resident of Chamoli district with a fresh leopard skin estimated at twenty lakh. He admitted to having killed the animal with the support of his fellow Bawariya members, among which included his uncle who has escaped. In addition, he was smuggling the skin at Dasna Crossing in Ghaziabad when the police apprehended him. S.K Dutta, additional principal chief conservator of forests, indicated that the Indian Forest Service (IFS) is carrying out an investigation into the case. However, tracking members of the Bawariya community has become challenging since they have adopted these new tactics to avoid detection and apprehension from authorities.

This article gives a clear indication about how poachers resort to complicated techniques to evade the authorities. In this case, they have began to rent houses near areas known to contain their intended targets such as tigers and leopards. In addition, they also involve their own family members in this illicit business especially children and female members so that they are not easily suspected for their activities. While ingenious as it seems, it is also extremely life-threatening to the wildlife and frustrating for wildlife officials to see how these individuals are one step ahead of the authorities. In order to combat this catastrophe, forest officials and law enforcement officials must team up and examine various forested areas that may be ideal habitat for endangered species and check for any nearby houses. Once the houses are in sight, it is crucial to conduct investigations in order to see which ones are suspected of being occupied by members of the Bawariya community and stakeouts should be implemented to see what the occupants are up to on any given day. Furthermore, camera traps must be installed in such areas to check for any poaching activity. Lastly, it is highly crucial to maintain contact with adjoining districts and states to ensure that individuals suspected of poaching are apprehended and brought into custody.

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