No end to predator menace as minister pleas for calm

STAFF REPORTER/DIPR
IMPHAL, 30th Nov: Even as forest and environment minister Th Shyamkumar conveyed that a team of wildlife forensic experts from Wildlife Institute of India would be arriving here on Saturday to study the series of mass scale killing of domestic livestock in different parts of the state, veterinary and animal husbandry director Dr H Chaoba opined that the predator could be animal with sharp, long teeth.
In the wake of flurry of reports regarding unknown creature(s) attacking poultry birds and cattle in different parts of the state, minister Shyamkumar accompanied by officials of forest and wildlife department conducted a spot inspection near the banks of Imphal River at Ningomthong Kitna Panung, Imphal East on Friday. They visited the house of a woman named Mutum Inakhunbi, who reportedly saw two unfamiliar animals at the side of her home around 3.30 pm Thursday.
Interacting with media persons, Shyamkumar said that small animals from the mountains or nearby hills hunting for food might have sneaked in areas near the Imphal river banks which have thick vegetation.
Conceding that such mysterious widespread killing is first of its kind in the state, the minister asserted that truth will come out soon as wildlife experts will start investigation as soon as they arrive here on Saturday.
Asserting that forest and wildlife teams are doing their job following the rules and regulations of the Forest Act and the department will take up every required action to contain the situation, the minister appealed to the public to refrain from spreading false and unfounded photos or videos on social media while adding that such rumours will create fear among the masses.
He also advised the locals to take up social service to keep the river banks clean. He however cautioned that they should not burn the bushes as it can harm other living creatures living in the area. He again appealed to the public to save the environment and wildlife and stop killing animals out of suspicion.
Conservator of Forests, Central Circle Th Mohendra Pratap said that the forest department is taking necessary steps to find out truth about the suspected animals, which are responsible for killings of livestock. Three scientists from Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun have already arrived at Imphal. Another team of forensic experts from the institute will reach the state on Saturday. Once they arrive, the department will expedite the investigation, he said. At present traps are being set up with baits at foothills and other locations to catch the predator apart from investigations at Manipur Zoological Garden. Stating that the suspected animal is attacking only small domestic livestock, he said it does not pose a threat to the humans. It would be wrong to target and kill animals out of suspicion, he said and appealed to the public to maintain calm and peace so that the department officials can find out the truth at the earliest.
On the other hand, Inakkhunbi, who encountered the animals, recalled that the two animals were slightly larger than small breed of dogs. They have long slender bodies with reddish colour smooth fur. They might have come there to eat her domestic animals, she said and added that they fled towards Imphal river after she shouted on seeing them.
Dr M Vikramjit Sharma and Dr N Sharmila from Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, PCCF & HoFF Kereilhouvi Angami, PCCF (Wildlife) & chief wildlife warden DJN Anand, chief conservator of forests (Wildlife) Anurag Bajpai, DFO central forest division RK Amarjit Singh accompanied the minister during the inspection visit.
According to director (veterinary and animal husbandry) Dr H Chaoba, state veterinary department collected sample of a pig killed by unknown nocturnal predators Thursday night at Tekcham. Post mortem of the sample was conducted Friday and it was found that the pig had several marks of very sharp and deep teeth hitting even to kidney and heart.
During a meeting with some media persons at his office Friday, Dr Chaoba said that the department has been conducting post mortem of domestic/livestock killed by unknown predators. Initial report of the post mortem suggests that the attackers could be animal having very sharp and long teeth but is yet to ascertain identity of the predator.
He said that experts of state veterinary department have been conducting investigation after receiving reports of attacks of domestic animals like pig, goat and cows and fowls by unknown nocturnal predators in Churachandpur and other districts particularly in valley area.
While stating that it would be unfavourable for the unknown predators to attack livestock kept at area having sufficient light and during day time, Dr Chaoba appealed to people to install bright light at shed during night.
Continuous attack of domestic animal/livestock by the unknown predators indeed gives a big blow to those earning livelihood by rearing animals/fowls and the department, in consultation with the concerned minister, is considering to provide assistance to victims, he said and appealed to owners of livestock/fowls killed by the predators to furnish report to joint director (vety). Priority will be given to farmers rearing domestic animals with assistance of the department, he said and called upon owners of domestic animals/fowls to keep their livestock carefully for sometimes.
KANGPOKPI: After the mysterious killing of a pregnant cow at Charhajare, another cow was found brutally killed Thursday night at Motbung Nepali Basti.
The cow belonged to one Mohon of Motbung Nepali Basti. The heart and liver of the cow were found missing.
The owner of the cow came to know about the incident Friday morning. The cow was found dead inside its shed near the residence of the owner.
The distance between the first incident site at Charhajare and Motbung incident is around one km.


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