HUBBALLI: The picture of an elephant which died after biting a meat bomb broke the internet on Wednesday, causing a national uproar. Considered to be a traditional hunting practice, this is now being considered one of the cruelest methods to kill wild animals — wild boars in particular.
The inhuman practice is still relevant in many villages and areas around forests and national parks in Karnataka. These meat bombs are mainly placed to hunt and kill wild boars, and in the process these bombs claim lives of other wild animals and even livestock.
Meat bombs are prepared by using locally available gun powder and gelatin sticks which are used to make firecrackers. They are wrapped in animal parts like intestines to attract the wild boars with its strong smell. Wild animals, like leopards and jackal, try to feast on these meatballs and meet a tragic end.
When the animals chew the balls filled with explosive, it blasts in the mouth causing a painful death to the animals. In the case of the Kerala incident, a pineapple was kept as bait and the fruit was used because of its strong smell. Wildlife activists are seeking to clamp down on those who use meat bombs to hunt down boars are other animals.
As wild meat is consumed by many, the villagers do not reveal the identity of people preparing the meat bomb. Wildlife experts say that there is a larger issue of mismanagement in the Western Ghats, with permission being granted to allow mining and other such activities. “The local forest division must improve on information gathering, so that such incidents can be minimised. We are at conflict with wildlife, but we have to find a way to co-exist, as animals too have a right to live,” said a wildlife expert.
Artists, cartoonists unite
Artists and cartoonists across India vented their anger by sketching insightful cartoons on the incident. Several social media users also demanded that action be taken on those who are responsible for the elephant’s death.
Society announces prize
Humane Society International, India has announced a cash prize of Rs 50,000 for anyone who gives leads in the elephant death incident reported in Kerala. The members said that while they are aware about the current conflict situation, killing an animal in such a way cannot be ignored.