Green Defenders

Steel trap seized by forest department

Steel trap seized by forest department

By-Prajakta Hushangabadkar

A  jackal was trapped in a steel trap and the animal was seen moving with it in the open scrub forest near Loni village on Amravati-Akola highway. The location is close to Karanja Sohol sanctuary. 

Amit, a  wildlife lover,  was passing by on the way to his office  when  he saw the jackal with a steel trap lying  in the middle of the road.  Amazed at the jackal,  Amit got into action.  It helped that he was a volunteer with NCSA  (Nature Conservation Society, Amravati).   He managed removing the trap as the jackal was still. He informed the forest officers.  Mohan Jha, chief conservator of forest (CCF)for Amravati Circle, sounded a red alert in Amravati and Akola forest divisions.  The RFO along with wildlife activist Vishal Bansod were sent for investigation.

Jackal was found dead and the post mortem report said he died due to starvation.  As he was injured and incapacitated by the trap, he could not hunt for food anymore.
Steel trap or 'bahelia trap' is used by the bahelia tribes  for hunting.  Bahelia tribals are basically from Katni in Madhya Pradesh.  According to the locals Bahelias lead a gypsy life.  They make a living by hunting and by selling jadi-butia ( forest plants) as ayurvedic medicines.  They seem to be doing rather well, as they move about in groups, in vehicles. 

The day before the jackal was found dead, locals noticed four vehicle loads of Bahelias in their vicinity. Hunting or poaching is at their peak when they are around.  Steel trap is mainly used for hunting of big carnivores. In March 2010, a leopard was caught in same type of trap in same area .  The lepord was lucky; it was recued and rehabiltated successfully. 

(picture by vishal bansod)

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