India: Wildlife officials on Sunday arrested six men who were poaching birds at a farm in Jawahar Nagar in Navalur. The officials seized 28 dead birds from the poachers who the officials said were gypsies.
The kill included 18 night herons, three cattle egrets, two water cocks, a common coot, two black-winged stilts and an open-billed stork. They were sent to Madras Veterinary College for postmortem. The poachers said they killed the birds for consumption by their families, and they weren’t for sale.
Wildlife officials in Chennai said the poached birds were covered under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The six men were let off after they paid ₹60,000 as penalty. “Repeat offenders will be set to jail,” said an official.
Wildlife headquarters range officer Mohan said he received information about bird poaching in Jawahar Nagar. “A group of poachers from Periyar Nagar in Tiruvanmiyur have been coming to Navalur regularly to poach birds that descended on agricultural land to feed on insects. We went to the place and caught them,” he said.
The poachers come as early as 5am under the pretext of bathing in a nearby water body, and waited for sunrise. “Once the sun is out, the birds come in flocks and the poachers get into action,” said Mohan.
One of the poachers had a country-made gun with which he shot a couple of birds. The other members of the gang used sling shots to fell the birds.
“The poachers made dried mud balls to hit the birds with. It’s the most silent way of killing the birds,” the officer said.
(Source: The Times of India)