There should be zero-tolerance to poaching
The way to nip this in the bud is to conduct surprise checks to establish whether there is a pattern, how extensive is this network and most importantly who is behind it
Forest officials have found metal traps in a 10-km radius during a massive search inside Film City after the carcasses of a leopard and sambar were found. The search threw up at least 30 live metal snares. Forest officials believe these may have been set up by poachers to trap wild animals, a report in this paper stated.
Details cited that a majority of the snares were recovered from the area close to Film City where garbage is dumped and where dogs and deer come to feed and which in turn, attracts leopards. The 30 traps are a pointer to a well-planned, brazen poaching operation inside the park. Authorities should not wait for another carcass to be found as a catalyst for action. The way to nip this in the bud is to conduct surprise checks to establish whether there is a pattern, how extensive is this network and most importantly who is behind it.
There must be a concerted effort to install CCTV cameras at key locations, even if you cannot cover an entire forest. Boards warning of action against those who set up these metal traps will serve as a deterrent. Most importantly, this action must be 'spelt' out and these warnings will work if they are illustrated with pictures of traps that have been found and dismantled.
Even the warning of 'action' should not be worded in a facile way. Do specify the fine or jail term these crimes attract. Also, the Forest Department needs to be adequately staffed and staffers trained to deal with such problems. If a local, trusted and competent authority within the community can develop a chain of insiders who can work as the eyes and ears of the space that would give the authorities more arsenal to fight this. Let's set the anti-poaching operation rolling and trap the criminals involved.
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