Wild elephants menace state government set up special task force in ,4 districts

Dr.Thomas (Special Correspondent)

The state Government announced setting up task force to check on wild elephant menace,following the attack on MLA M.P. Kumaraswamy in Mudigere taluk of Chikkamagaluru district by villagers over the death of a woman in an elephant attack.

But the state government ignored the burning issue of man animal conflict and conversation of wild life as wild life hunting continue unabated at the villages bordering forest area.

On Monday a group of wildlife activist along with CID forest cell officials arrested three men trying to sell canine and nails of leopard in Halebidu in Hassan district.

The team later recovered carcass of the female leopard,snare and a wood log,used to bludgeoned the animal to death buried in a cow dung pit situated in the farm house of the accused .

The accused Ravi Kumar,a farmer from Kommaranahalli near Halebidu in Hassan district had killed the leopard which had come to his farm house to eat the chicken from the shed 1.5 months ago .

Ravi Kumar who has used the snares to trap the animal and later killed it using a wooden log.

Ravi Kumar buried the body under cow dung heap and informed his friends Somashekhar,Mohan Kumar and Swamy who decided to take out the nails and canine to make money.The skin and the flesh were highly decomposed.

The officials said that habitats are tuning into less pray base,which forcing the wild animals to come into villages for food.This is a classic case of man animal conflict which needs immediate attention, a wildlife activists,said .

The villagers are using novel method to hunt down animals unabated.Less efforts are being made to educate the villagers on how to conserve forest, which is the need of hour,Sharath Babu,R,wildlife activist,part of the operation,said.

Few days ago,the Chitradurga forest officials busted a racket and arrested a gang of five villagers who re hunting pangolins in the forest are using stray dogs.

Vasanth Kumar, Regional forest officer of Chitradurga district,who headed the operation said that the team track down the accused in the outskirts of Holalkere posing as prospective buyers of the pangolin scales .

The officials recovered 3.2 kilos scales and nails of pangolins which they have hunted down few days ago.

Explaining the modus operandi,due to the increase in demand of scales in cosmatic market,many villagers get into illegal hunting and train stray dogs for the hunting.

The villagers feed the meat to the stray dogs and train them to dig out hollow trees or borrows to kill them.

They train the stray dogs is to avoid getting attention of the forest department officials, Vasanth Kumar,said adding that buying hunting dogs is not feasible for the villagers in terms of cost and also attract the attention of the forest officials.

The accused would then dip the dead animal in boiling water to remove the scales and nails and consume the flesh.

The officials are now tracking down the market network of the pangolin scales are the buyers are from old Mysore region.

They scales will be smuggled to Kerala in different means from there shipped to china due to its high market value.