Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Fails To Prevent Wildlife Poaching

Poaching of Wild Animals For Food And Trading

Poaching of wild animals for food and trading on the organs of the slaughtered animals have increased alarmingly in Karbi Anglong district. The massive poaching issue is a practice right from professional hunters to common farmers, who have taken up the illegal act as a source of income and not merely for consumption.

According to information received from various sources, the incidence of poaching has been amplified because of rapid decrease of forest due to extensive rubber cultivation and wild animals are becoming easy prey to the bullets and traps of the huntsmen.

Due to shattered provision of the wildlife in neighbouring Nagaland where a section of people love to consume wild animals, poachers and villagers are beinmg encouraged to hunt in the wilderness of Karbi Anglong. Large numbers of deer are hunted to supply venison to the privileged and honoured section of the neighbouring state. Meat of deer, wild boar, civet, bear cub, monitor lizard, mongoose, and snakes is up for sale in supermarkets and new market locality almost every day.

According to information received, a local Karbi Anglong poacher steadily hunts animal from Dhansiri, Disama, Marat Longri and other adjoining reserve forests and smuggles the animals to Dimapur by train from Diphu. Sometimes the wild animal traders also walk up to Dimapur through forest trails and sell the poached animals at a fixed price to the retailers of Dimapur who pay 400% more than the purchased price. Animal remains and fresh organs, plus tusks, hide, fur, appendages, horns, nails, and teeth are regularly smuggled to various places in India by rail and road.

With the surging Rhino poaching incidents, the wildlife protection unit of Karbi Anglong forest department which has three very large territorial divisions and a number of dedicated divisions hardly have taken powerful steps to protect and conserve wildlife in existing reserve forests and wildlife sanctuaries.

If ruthless killing of wild animals goes on unchecked, soon the wildlife sanctuaries may be obliged to brand the so called safe haven of animals as places of safety for the poachers and hunters. For some unknown reason, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council which is responsible for protecting nearly seven thousand square kilometres of protected forest and declared wildlife sanctuaries has not taken enough steps to stop hunting and trade of wildlife.

Every year thousands of the migratory bird Amur Falcon are either killed by sling shots or are trapped in high altitude areas of Hamren subdivision of this district but the indisposed forest department is yet to rise from its slumber to protect Karbi Anglong flora and fauna.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.