KOZHIKODE: It may be just the blind belief in a myth. But the meat of Nilgiri langur (Karinkurangu) is one of the most sought after commodities among the rich and NRIs from Kerala these days. Reason: its perceived aphrodisiac capabilities.
The recent arrest of Jais Mathew, 39, from Thamarassery by the Forest Department officials for poaching Nilgiri langurs revealed the activities of a racket that sold the meat of this endangered species as sex stimulant in the market.
The interrogation of Jais Mathews brought to light the involvement of a large racket in the trade of Nilgiri langurs’ meat, skull, skin and bones.
“Our initial probe revealed that the Nilgiri langurs were hunted for their meat to be sold outside Thamarasserry.
There is a huge demand for it due to its so-called medicinal value. It is a big racket and those involved in it are making huge profits. Customers are largely super rich who consume various crude medicines prepared out of the meat as sex stimulant.
The racketeers make huge money by selling the meat and other body parts,” said a Forest Department official with the Thamarasserry range.
He added that a detailed probe has been initiated to collect more details of the racket and the buyers. According to sources, the meat, bones and skull of one Nilgiri langur is priced at Rs 10,000 in the market.
At least five Nilgiri langurs were shot dead by the gang inside the forests on December 29, 2015. As of now, seven persons were arrested in connection with the hunting of the animal.
Around 10 kg of meat along with skulls, skins, and bones were recovered from them.
Meanwhile, District Veterinary Officer Dr K Madhavan said misconception about the medicinal value of the meat of Niligiri langurs led to its widespread poaching.
Planet of apes in danger
Despite the Act, the animals continue to be hunted mainly for the preparation of crude medicines and aphrodisiacs. According to the Wildlife Institute of India and the Central Zoo Authorities, poaching continues to be a threat to the wildlife population including the Nilgiri langurs. They are being hunted for pelts, blood, flesh and organs.
The Grim Scenario
➤The Nilgiri langur is an endangered species and is protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, ensuring maximum legal protection.
➤The meat, bones and skull of one Nilgiri langur is priced at Rs 10,000 in the market. At least five Nilgiri langurs were shot dead on December 29, 2015