Puducherry: Migratory birds and endangered animals protected by the Indian wildlife laws are being sold openly in a market in Puducherry. CNN-IBN has accessed images that expose the thriving lucrative business.
At a roadside food stall, in the city of Puducherry the selling of protected birds and animals is a common sight. The images show ibis and purple moorhens, open billed storks being sold openly at roadside stalls.
These birds visit the Oussudu Wildlife Sanctuary in the winters for breeding where they are allegedly hunted. Jungle cats, palm civets, porcupine, monitor lizards and jackals are also being sold at roadside stalls. The birds are reportedly being sold for Rs 100 per kg while the more endangered species are being sold for Rs 400 to Rs 500 per kg.
Species like the jungle cat are given as much protection as the tiger and listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, and yet are being sold for their meat in the market. The Forest department has claimed helplessness in taking any action against the violations.
CNN-IBN also spoke to the Divisional Forest Officer, Puducherry, who expressed his helplessness in curtailing sale of endangered species in the region.
"Poaching can be attributed to a particular tribe called Narikowa. We have tried several times to curtail this, but whenever we take any action, the community stops her, gheraoes us. They don’t have any alt means of livelihood," Anil Kumar said.
The animals and birds are killed with a banned pesticide endosulfan and then brought to this market in Puducherry to be sold. It now remains to be seen if the Environment Ministry will take any action.