Two poachers have been arrested by wildlife personnel near Balipatapur in Odisha for allegedly hunting migratory birds in the Chilika lake. At least 10 dead birds and a motor-cycle were seized from the possession of the poachers, who were arrested Wednesday, officials said.
The accused have been identified by police as Mangu Swain (35) of Ujala and Karunakar Parida (26) of Kantalabai village. “The bird carcasses including a pair of large whistling teal, 2 garganey, 1 shoveller and 5 common coots were seized from the duo,” said Divisional Forest Officer, Chilka wildlife division, Bikash Ranjan Dash.
The wildlife personnel caught the duo during their routine patrolling exercise, when they were returning after killing the birds, he said, adding the birds were suspected to have been poisoned. “The exact reason will be known only after autopsy of the birds,” said Range officer, Tangi, Ashok Das.
It was the first poaching case in the lake after the migratory birds began thronging the lake this winter. In the last winter, Tangi range had registered 16 bird poaching cases and arrested 33 poachers from whom over 100 dead birds were seized, another forest official said.
The bird poachers get very active in the lake around the time when the winged guests start to descend in the Chilka, as the demand of the meat of waterfowls increases in the nearby towns, sources added. Patrolling was intensified in and around the lake after the first poaching case was reported.
“We have set up 18 temporary camps and engaged over 100 persons including wildlife personnel to check bird poaching in the lake,” the DFO said.