Mass culling of wild boars begins in Kerala

3 months ago 21
Mobile Application for your business
White Cloud

Gun shots are echoing in the silence of night on the forest fringes of Kerala as the Forest Department has launched a culling campaign to eliminate the crop-raiding wild boar population.

Close to 50 animals were gunned down by sharpshooters engaged by the department, as it was flooded with complaints of crop loss caused by these animals. The programme is to eliminate the populations, which have established themselves outside the forest areas and places where there are no natural predators for the species. Those located inside the forests are spared from culling, explained Forest officials.

Each successful kill would earn the shooter a remuneration of ₹1,000. Members of rifle clubs and farmers with licenced guns are joining the drive. A few trigger-happy gunners from neighbouring States have volunteered for the programme. However, their service has not been used, they said.

In the Southern Circle, which covers Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts, 14 animals were killed. The department had shortlisted 20 hotspots in the circle from the earlier identified 74 where the menace was prevalent, said Sanjayankumar, Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), Southern Circle.

Aiming the animals, which raid the crops under the cover of darkness, is a challenging task. They venture out of their habitats during the late evening hours, he explained.

In the Eastern Circle, 20 wild boars were shot dead with Nilambur South Division accounting for 14 kills, said K. Vijayananthan, CCF, Eastern Circle.

Inclement weather had hampered the operations. A section of the forest staff, who had a mental block over the culling operations, had to be sensitised. More men will be deployed for the drive, he said.

The shooters of High Range Circle gunned down three. Though permission was issued to farmers who sought clearance for killing the animals, no case of successful hunting has been reported, said Georgi P. Mathachen, CCF, High Range Circle. The failure to obtain permission, inform about the culling and return the carcass could invite prosecution, he said.

In the Central Circle, the officials are thinking in terms of developing traps for the animals as the guns failed to produce desired results.

Read Entire Article