December 25, 2021 8:04:43 pm
Wildlife personnel recovered carcasses of 29 birds of five different species from a field under Chilika wildlife division in Odisha on Saturday, an official said.
The poachers might have dumped the carcasses of the migratory birds at Ratamati near Bhusandpur in Tangi range, fearing arrest by wildlife personnel as police and wildlife officials patrol the area in the early morning, police suspect.
After getting information, our staff rushed and recovered as many as 29 dead birds from the spot, Tangi wildlife range officer Choodarani Murmu said.
The carcasses of the birds were identified as northern pintail (17), large whistling duck (5), each three of gadwall and lesser whistling duck and one spot billed duck, Murmu said.
“We suspected the poachers might have killed the birds by applying poison in the lake. They might have been dumped fearing arrest and fled from the spot as the police and wildlife personnel were conducting patrol in the area, while our staff searched several hotels in the nearby area, she said.
“We have registered an unnatural death case and started an investigation to arrest the accused persons,” she said.
Wildlife officials suspect the poachers might have hunted the birds as the high demand of the meat of the aquatic birds in the nearby towns, especially on the eve of the festivals like Christmas and New Year.
With this the wildlife officials have registered six bird poaching cases and arrested seven hunters during the current migrating season and seized 56 bird carcasses, sources said.
After the incident, the wildlife authorities in the Chilika have decided to intensify patrolling in the night hours in the shore area along with the lake.
“We will intensify the patrolling in the shore areas, especially during night hour,” assistant conservator of forest (ACF) Sarat Kumar Mishra.
As many as 20 temporary anti-poaching camps have been set up in the lake at present, while a vehicle was conducting patrol in the shore areas of the lake.
An estimated eight to nine lakh winged guests have been swooped down in the blue lagoon this winter so far. Most of them settled in the Nalabana, the bird sanctuary inside the blue lagoon, sources said.
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