By Vijay Pinjarkar
At a time when coal mining is being perceived as the biggest threat to tigers, poachers from Bahelia community of Katni in Madhya Pradesh have entered forested parts of Vidarbha and are planning to strike it rich.Bahelias are infamous for tiger and wildlife poaching in India. Experts say this poaching community members simultaneously operate at multiple locations at a given time within any region of the country. They literally kill wild animals like a portable slaughterhouse.
The Nature Conservation Society Amravati (NCSA), a NGO working for tiger conservation in Amravati district, received information on Monday that a jackal was trapped in a steel trap and the animal was moving with it in the open scrub forest near Loni village on Amravati-Akola highway. The location is close to Karanja Sohol sanctuary.
NCSA volunteer Amit Wadatkar rescued the jackal from the trap and informed the forest officers. Mohan Jha, chief conservator of forest (CCF) for Amravati Circle, sounded a red alert in Amravati and Akola forest divisions. A RFO along with wildlife activist Vishal Bansod were sent for investigation.
As the jackal was injured, it could not hunt and died due to hunger. The poachers, after seeing the jackal with steel trap, might have escaped from the spot. A local dhaba owner confirmed presence of four vehicles of Bahelias who had set up the trap in the scrub forest. In March 2010, a leopard was caught in a similar trap in the same area but the animal was rescued and released.
During the same period, a hare had died in a trap near Ranmangali forest near Nagpur. Tigers in Ranmangli are on the edge. Recently, a full-grown male tiger from Tipeshwar had died after getting entangled in a steel wire trap. More....