BENGALURU: In a shocking incident, a 35-year-old woman was allegedly found selling animal parts in broad daylight in Shivamogga city. She was arrested and a case has been booked against her for trading and hunting animals. Wildlife activists have called for strict measures to curb trading in these regions which is home to many endangered species in its protected areas.
Karthik Kedlaya from Iruve, a Bhadravathi-based NGO involved in environmental activities, found the woman trying to sell nails, bones, scented balls of wild species near Durga Lodge close to Shivamogga bus stand. Posing as a customer, Kedlaya managed to collect more details about her trading activities.
She was reportedly selling animal parts for `3000-`5000. Meanwhile, wildlife conservationist R M Ananya Vasudev brought this issue to the notice of senior forest officials of Shivamogga district. The forest department acted swiftly by sending the Forest Mobile Squad and a team from the territorial forest division.
Later, the department arrested the woman and confiscated the wildlife parts. Upon examination by wildlife veterinarian Dr Sujay of Tyavarekoppa Lion Safari, it was found that the nails were not of tigers but of raptors, Slender Loris, wild boars and other species. She was booked under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. For further investigations, the samples have been sent to the lab. A case was registered against the woman by DRFO Hiremath of Shivamogga Range. However, she was released on bail later.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Shivamogga DCF (territorial division) Anthony Mariappa said, “A case has been booked against her on charges of hunting and trading in wildlife parts. Bones, claws and nails of birds of raptor, slender loris, etc which were found have been sent to the lab for testing. Since nomadic people are known for trading in wildlife parts, we are doing full investigations, but not all samples pertain to wildlife as some are artifacts. However, suspected samples need to be examined. Further, our inquiry has revealed that she may not be involved in hunting.” Wildlife conservationist Ananya Vasudev added, “The samples are yet to be sent for testing while the department is dragging its feet and the woman has managed to get bail. Recently, two poachers were also arrested at Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary along with spotted deer meat.