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Wild boar the most hunted animal

K.S. Sudhi

State has now allowed its killing in five districts on specific grounds



Perilous path: A government order permits anyone to shoot, with official permit, wild boars that pose danger to human life or property .

KOCHI: The wild boar, whose culling the State government has permitted recently, has been one of the most hunted animals in the State, official figures say.

Statistics available with the Wildlife Forensic Unit of Kerala Agricultural University show that of the 250 meat samples analysed by it to help detect wildlife offences during the past five years, nearly 45 per cent were of wild boars. The samples are brought to the unit as part of the prosecution procedures, P.O. Nameer, head of the unit, says.

After wild boar come the Sambar deer (15 per cent), the gaur (10 per cent), and the tiger (seven per cent) on the poaching list. DNA fingerprinting is done on the meat samples in cooked and raw forms and animal tissues to ascertain the species, he says.

The State government had ordered the shooting of wild boars in Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad, Idukki, and Pathanamthitta districts for a year, invoking provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The Act prescribes that the Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorised officer may, if he is satisfied that any wild animal specified in Schedule 2, Schedule 3, or Schedule 4, has become dangerous to human life or to property (including standing crops on any land) or is so disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery, by order in writing and stating the reasons therefore, permit any person to hunt such animal or group of animals in a specified area or cause such animal or group of animals in that specified area to be hunted.

An analysis has found that the most number of wildlife offences has been reported from the Pariyaram forest range near Thrissur.

This was followed by Sultan Bathery in Wayanad district, Kalady near Kochi, Kollengode near Palakkad, and Munnar in Idukki. Wayanad is among the districts identified by the government for the experimental killing of boars.

Statistics reveal that the number of wild boars has not jumped in the State. The wildlife census of 2002 found 60,940 of them as against 40,425 in 1997 and 40,963 in 1992. The 2011 census figures are yet to be released.

Confusion

Confusion is reigning supreme in the Forest Department regarding the implementation of the Government Order. Senior officials say the order lacks clarity on the delegation of powers for shooting the animals frequently raiding crops. Identifying the exact animal that is repeatedly causing crop loss will be an uphill task. Selecting the shooter will be another hassle, a senior functionary of the department says.

The department is planning to convene soon a meeting of the divisional forest officers and the range officers of five districts to discuss the modalities of implementing the order.

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