Friday, September 14, 2012

Trapping the poachers 1

       Got on to start blogging again. Was busy with college and other things and as it is, the rainy season seems to be a low for wildlife, at least I thought so. But I was definitely wrong.
       Am incident took place during this time which is very important learning experience in my life, to understand people and how contact with influential people comes handy in our life. I am constrained to refrain writing names of some people involved in the incident.
       The summers of 2012 have been way too lucky for the tourists visiting Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and the other wildlife hotspots around Nagpur with regular tiger sightings and 'full house' safaris. I too consider myself lucky to have witnessed 21 such tiger sightings.
       The season ended in June which was the start of Monsoons in India. The month of July saw the landmark order by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India directing the States(those that have tiger reserves) to notify the Critical Wildlife Habitats in the respective states, not doing so would invite ban on tourism activities. And it did. The Supreme Court banned the entry of tourists to the core areas of the tiger reserves of the states who defaulted notifying their buffer areas. Only Assam and Rajasthan were the states who were able to dodge the wrath of the Apex Court of India.
        The core area ban came to be a serious blow to the wildlife lovers. Many welcomed it and many asked questions about how this(the core area ban) was to help keep the jungles safe. I must mention here that the ban on the core areas is still in effect and the issue is pending before the Supreme Court.
        On fine evening in the first week of August, I was standing alone at my regular tea stall. The tea vendor, Jawahar has been a good guy to us all. He was talking with some random guy at his tea-stall(whom I found out that he was a pan-shop owner having his stall nearby). The festival of Pola was just round the corner(17th August). Pola has been identified as one of the most haunting festival for wildlife owing to the fact that (weird) people prefer to consume wildlife meat on the next day of pola(padwa). The meat of Sambhar Deer, Spotted Deer, Peacock, Wild Boar(Pig), Indian Monitor Lizard and many other wild animals is consumed at a very high scale. In order to curb this problem of poaching during the time of pola is curbed by the forest department "effectively" by arranging patrolling teams and patrolling of the forests for three days at a stretch.
        I was well aware of this poaching activities taking place during pola, everybody knows this. To continue with the story, Jawahar was talking with the pan-stall owner and to my horror they were planning about arranging a party on pola and to bring in some wildlife meat along with drinks. I was just hearing this conversation which lasted for around 30 minutes and everything from who will bring in the meat and who will bring in the booz. They also discussed the place of party which they only said was somewhere outside the city, for obvious reason that pola is observed as a dry day by the district authorities.
       After listening to the conversation, I was shocked to know how the poaching 'business' is going unnoticed by general public. I had never ever heard of such things happening, at least not around me. I alerted two of my friends as well as consulted some wildlife experts as to how to deal with this situation and made up my mind to nab the wrong-doers. Little did I know that I was bad at judging people.
To be continued....