Odisha man arrested for hunting birds in Chilika Lake, 18 carcasses seized

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Berhampur (Odisha), Jul 11 (PTI) A 48-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly hunting birds in Odisha's Chilika Lake, a forest official said.

He was hunting birds at Bidharpursahi near Bhusandpur in Tangi forest range and 18 carcasses of four bird species were seized from his possession, Chilika Wildlife Division DFO Amlan Nayak said.

The carcasses of the birds include those of Grey Headed Swamphen (14), Lesser Whistling Duck (2) and one each of Pheasant Tailed Jacana and Bronze Winged Jacana, he said.

Wildlife personnel suspected that the accused person was taking the carcasses to the market for sale and for own consumption.

Nayak said the poacher was suspected to have hunted the birds by poisoning them in Chilika Lake.

After conducting a post-mortem examination, the carcasses were buried, he said.

The DFO said the tissue samples of the carcasses would be sent to the Centre for Wildlife Health in Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) and to the state forensic laboratory, Bhubaneswar for toxicological analysis.

Though not a single poaching case was registered in Chilika in the last bird migration season when lakhs migrated to the lake in winter, hunting of waterfowls has been reported recently.

The latest poaching case at the lake was second in the last one week and third in a month. Several residential birds and some migratory birds that have stayed back are in Chilika now.

On July 3, wildlife personnel arrested two bird poachers at Deipur in Tangi range of Chilika Wildlife Division.

The carcasses of 14 birds of two species -- Grey Headed Swamphen (14) and Water Cock (one) – were seized from the duo.

Similarly, forest officials had arrested a bird hunter at Tentuliapada and seized the carcass of two Open Billed Storks, a scheduled animal under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Normally poachers become active after the withdrawal of the anti-poaching camps in March. Patrolling has been intensified in the lake with the existing staffers, the DFO said. PTI COR BBM BBM ACD