BHUBANESWAR: Wildlife sleuths have been put on alert in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) to thwart any move by the tribals to embark on “akhand shikar,” their ritualistic hunting which starts with Makar Sankranti.
The STR officials have identified four different points of the tiger territory at Kaptipada, Udala, Kendumundi and Thakurmunda where teams have been deployed along with vehicles and communication equipment.
Special emphasis is being given to intelligence as well as surveillance in the region.
Since tribals are known to go on a hunting spree, the wildlife officials have devised a novel method of keeping them under check. Support of voluntary organisations has been sought to identify “dehuri” (local priests) who lead the hunting. “It is only after the priests conduct the rituals that the triabals embark on the hunting exercise.
We are trying to neutralise the process by identifying the priests and keep them under check by motivating them against hunting,” said the sources.
In Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary, which is contiguous to Similipal, the Balasore Forest Division has already mobilised teams to keep vigil on the tribals round the clock.
With the help of local police, watch is being kept on the bordering areas so as to prevent poachers from infiltrating into the tribals hunting party which has happened in the past too.