By Paul Fernandes
Use of cable wire snares to trap wildlife on the Pilerne-Porvorim plateau and other areas is worrying animal lovers as the activity not only goes unnoticed in forest areas but its dimensions are changing for the worse.
A source stated that the wire has several nooses in place to trap wildlife. "The wire is like a necklace of snares with 30 to 40 nooses along its entire length," a source explained.
The wire is strategically placed to ruthlessly trap hares or other wildlife as it emerges from the thick cover into the open spaces. "They die silently after being choked in the noose, maybe after a short struggle," a forest official conceded.
A wildlife activist found 30 snares on a single 15m length of wire concealed in the grass on the Pilerne plateau a few days ago.
"I found snares and other evidence of poaching in the past and it appeared to be on a small scale, but last week I realized that the perspective has changed," the activist said.
A forest department official said that they have received the complaint and will look into the matter. Similar complaints earlier this year had prompted the forest department to scan the area and interrogate some migrants and locals in the nearby habitations. "The activity had stopped after this exercise," a source said.
The activist alleged that the multitude of snares shows that trapping may have increased and become more ruthless. "This indicates increased activities and obviously a high success rate. Most probably we are no longer looking at an individual but at poaching on order for the commercial market," the activist alleged.
Earlier, poachers were doing it to catch feral pigs, which is a cross between wild boars and local pigs, but often dogs would fall in the trap. The activist reported seeing two men on a second visit and found snares where they were hiding in the forest. "They are not likely to stop this activity until they are nabbed," the activist alleged.