Deer meat part of daily meal around flood-hit Kaziranga
Assam floods have a positive side — no dearth of venison or deer meat for locals. The floods had made the vast scathe of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) accessible to locals, resulting in increased incidents of poaching and killing of wild animals.Chetan Chauhan and Sanjib Kr Baruah report.delhi Updated: Jul 14, 2012 01:14 IST
Assam floods have a positive side — no dearth of venison or deer meat for locals. The floods had made the vast scathe of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) accessible to locals, resulting in increased incidents of poaching and killing of wild animals.
In a report submitted to the environment ministry, the Assam forest department admitted that animals, including hog deer and rhinos, are being poached. "Deer are killed for consumption and we fear rhinos are poached for body parts," said a top ministry official.
As per official figures, over 600 wild animals have died with 518 of them being hog deer whose meat has entered the local cuisine as never before. “These days, venison has become part of daily meal. This is happening in the low-lying char areas flanking the park in the north and south of the Brahmaputra,” said a top Assam forest official.
Kaziranga is a hot spot for poachers who could easily smuggle the body parts to south east Asia and China through Myanmar. “The floods have disrupted the entire anti-poaching activities,” the official said.
This was confirmed by the Assam forest official, who said the reports of deer being poached and consumed have come from eyewitnesses. “These are the worst floods and the biggest tragedy for wildlife here in more than two decades,” he said.
Ministry officials, however, were optimistic by saying the animals affected are less than 10% of the total wild population in KNP.