BENGALURU: In Shivamogga district, organised gangs of wild animal meat poachers have been found hunting and supplying venison meat to mutton stalls/hotels in the district. After recent search operations and arrests, the state Forest Department has now launched full-scale investigations, fearing bigger networks spreading across the state.With the arrest of a gang on Sunday night, forest sources say many more gangs may be involved. Inquiries reveal hunting of Sambar, spotted and barking deer, wild pigs and gaur.
A gang had hunted in Gadisara forest limits of Mandagadde area, Sakrebailu wildlife range and transported the whole body of Chital to mutton stalls in Shivamogga city.Syed Siraj of Gadisara village, Tirthahalli, had supplied the meat to a mutton stall in New Mandali Sultan Mohalla. Shivamogga forest flying squad arrested Siraj and recovered the meat. Inquiry also continues into last month’s case, where Shivamogga Range staff had caught Hanumanthappa, a hunter involved in selling meat in Gajanur and Shivamogga city.
Officials had recovered the heads of two barking deer from Bhavikere and Rangenahalli, which adjoins
Lakkavalli Range, Bhadra Tiger Reserve.Meanwhile, wildlife activist G Veeresh, said, “The question is how the Chital was transported from Mandagadde to Shivamogga (25 kms), which has two forest check posts.”
Speaking to TNIE, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), C Jayaram, said, “A full-scale investigation has been launched in theShivamogga district, and I have asked the district wildlife DCF to get more staff involved in unearthing this case.”