GUWAHATI: A team of the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is likely to arrive in Manipur from Dehradun on Saturday to examine the mysterious killings of livestock by unknown predators.
In the past month, a number of ducks, goats, pigs, and chickens were targeted by the predators. They descend down on mostly foothill areas at night in districts such as Churachandpur, Imphal East, Kakching and Kangpokpi. There has been, however, no report of attack on human beings.
The state's forest minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar said a task force would be formed to trap the unknown predators. On Friday, he, along with departmental officials, inspected a site near Imphal river in Imphal East district where a woman had reportedly noticed the movement of two "unidentified animals" on Thursday.
The first of the killings was reported from Churachandpur on November 6. The latest killings took place on Thursday in a hilly area. The carcasses of some chickens and goats were found with their internal organs dismembered.
Shyamkumar suspected that some small animals come down from the hills in search of food and hunt the livestock. There have been reports that in the wake of the killings, the locals were hunting civet cats. He appealed to people to stop the acts.
"A team of the WTI is coming to Imphal. Hopefully, we will be able to identify the predators once the WTI team carries out an investigation," the minister said.