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Poaching rises in summer in Eastern Ghats, forest officials blame tribal rituals

Poachers are said to be active again in the Eastern Ghat forests of Chintapalli and Rampachodavaram divisions in Andhra Pradesh’s Alluri Sitharama Raju district. The illegal activity is attributed to several reasons, especially the traditions and customs of the tribal population living in the hilly terrain along the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) region.

ASR district has a forest area of ​​10.47 lakh hectares, nearly 28% of the total forest area of ​​37.13 lakh hectares in Andhra Pradesh. ASR district has four forest divisions – Chintapalli (1,97,181 hectares), Paderu (1,97,872 hectares), Chintoor (4 lakh hectares) and Rampachodavaram (2,63,869 hectares).

The large population of wild animals in this vast forest area bordering Odisha attracts poachers from tribal pockets. The high demand for wild animals for traditional practices also plays a major role. Tribal people perform rituals for their deities during the summer months. They offer the meat of wild animals such as spotted deer, wild boar and Indian bison to the deities.

Talking to HinduChintapalli Divisional Forest Officer Ch. Suryanarayana admitted that there were complaints of poaching from forests in the district, particularly from two forest divisions during the summer months when tribal people were out hunting for rituals.

The Forest Department recently arrested 11 people from Odisha when they were found in possession of the meat of an Indian bison in a weekly market at Gudem village in GK Veedhi mandal, he said.

Forest officials of Chintapalli and Rampachodavaram divisions discussed measures taken to prevent poaching in forests on June 3 (Monday).

“We have registered a case under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The case is now in court. We have formed teams with our counterparts in the Rampachodavaram forest division to keep an eye on the poachers. Not only hunting, buying and transporting wild animal meat is also an offence,” Mr. Suryanarayana said.

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