3 teenage poachers held, 7 migratory birds carcass found

Wildlife officials arrested three more teenagers engaged in poaching of migratory birds from different villages under Tangi range in Chilika wildlife division.

Berhampur (Odisha): Wildlife officials arrested three more teenagers engaged in poaching of migratory birds from different villages under Tangi range in Chilika wildlife division.

The officials also seized carcass of seven migratory birds from the arrested youths yesterday.

While they arrested two juvenile boys from Ujjala-Gopinathpur village and seized four migratory birds, two pond heron and two spot-billed duck, another boy was caught from Tentuliapada village and three dead shovellers were seized from him.

The two juvenile poachers of Ujjala Gopinathpur village allegedly trapped to kill the migratory birds while the other accused in Tentualiapada allegedly poisoned the lake to kill the shovellers, said divisional forest officer (DFO) Chilika wildlife division Bikash Ranjan Das.

With this, at least six teenage boys were so far arrested on charges of poaching the migratory birds in the lake in a span of 15 days.

On December 17, two teenage boys were arrested from Hatabaradi village under the same wildlife range. The duo had allegedly poisoned two migratory birds in the lake, while earlier another 13-year-old boy was arrested for the same reason from Tangi region.

The wildlife officials are worried over engagement of juveniles in poaching of birds in the Chilika lagoon.

"It was seen that some villagers deliberately engage teenage boys in poaching of birds. They might be sending the children because they will be able to get relief from the court of law in case of arrest," a senior wildlife officer said.

The bird poachers are seen to adopt such practice, when the wildlife officials intensified their patrolling to crackdown the poaching in Chilika, said DFO.

So far, the forest officials have registered at least 16 bird poaching cases and arrested 15 persons, including six teenagers, the DFO said.

Since the meat of the migratory birds is in demand in the nearby towns, the poachers are seen active to hunt the birds.

At least 17 anti-poaching camps were set up in vast lake with deployment of over 90 personnel since the migratory birds started to descend in Chilika in the month of October, sources said.

The birds mostly come from beyond the Himalayas in the Northern Eurasia, Caspian region, Siberia, Kazakh, Lake Baikal and the remote areas of Russia and neighboring countries and visit the vast waterbody every winter. They start their homeward journey before the onset of summer.

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