SALEM: A group of farmers landed in trouble on Monday after they captured a fox to celebrate ‘Vanagnari’ (a local harvest festival) in Vazhapadi. Forest officials launched a probe into the incident as foxes are an endangered species under the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
On Monday, residents of Vazhapadi which include villages of Kottavadi, Ranganur, Mathoor, Periyakirshnapuram captured a fox from the forest range. According to sources, ‘Vanaganari’ is a tradition where residents would trap a fox, tie its hind legs and make it travel through the village.
Residents would watch the proceedings as it is believed that a fox on the doorstep would bring a bountiful crop yield and prosperity. Later, the fox will be released into the forest near a temple. No harm is done to the animal during the celebration, villagers said.
R Gowtham, District Forest Officer, Salem told TNIE, “There has been no formal complaint. The matter came to light through social media sites. The staff were taken by surprise as this practice has not happened here in a long time. We are trying to identify those involved.”