In a brazen incident, a few families of an itinerant tribe (Narikorava) in Tiruchendur, Tuticorin district, killed nearly a dozen jackals from a nearby forest, skinned them and displayed them along with beads in a busy market in the temple town.
An activist, T. Murugavel of Environmental Monitoring and Action Initiating (EMAI), said he was in Tiruchendur last week. When he came out after darshan at a temple, he was shocked to see the dozen skinned jackals with their heads displayed along with the beads in a public market.
The families claimed that it was not wrong to kill the jackals. Further interaction with them revealed that they used snares to trap the jackals, which were then clubbed to death.
Later, the body parts were removed and the skull retained with the skin. However, they refused to tell him the forest area from which the scavengers were trapped, he said.
Mr Murugavel said superstitions surrounding the animal led to their killing.
State Wildlife authorities said the animal is categorised under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act of India 1972 and killing and displaying the trophy would attract severe punishment along with imprisonment and penalty.
Despite strict enforcement of laws to curb poaching, raw meat of jackal was found to be sold in the market. Dinkar Kumar, District Forest Officer, when contacted, said it was shocking and added that any such act would attract severe punishment. More....