With recent case of poachers hunting animals from Coffee estates in the Western Ghats, the Wildlife protection team of the forest department says, the poachers put up their tents in the premises of coffee estates and wait for their kill.

 

The forest department had deployed anti-poaching squads inside the forest who will patrol the coffee estates and revenue lands as the poachers are said to be hunting animals from these places.

 

"Wild animals were usually hunted inside the forest by poachers. But with the Wildlife Act being strictly implemented, the poachers started staying away from the forests. But this did not put an end to their hunting habits. Instead, they started putting up tents in the premises of coffee plantations as the estates too attract wild animals. The culprits wait for their kill and once the animal is spotted, they just shoot them," said Sharath Babu, Wildlife Warden, Bengaluru.

 

“These poachers have a good network and in few cases even bribe forest officials to prevent arrest,” he added.

 

Praveen Bhargav, a member of Wildlife Board observed that government alone cannot protect the wildlife. It needs cooperation from the like-minded people. 

 

“The Forest Department has installed a four-layer protection system to save animals from being hunted. The officers concerned conduct foot patrolling in the forest and adjoining areas. Mobile patrolling is conducted where vehicles can be taken. Anti-poaching camps have been set up for every 100 sq km of forest area and check posts,” he said.

 

"Despite these efforts, poaching still takes place. Implementation of Wildlife Act, arresting and punishing offenders and creating awareness against killing animals is the key to saving our forests and the wildlife," said Bhargav.

 

Forest officials say, Hassan Chikkamagalauru and Coorg which have a large area of forest land is being monitored by the Forest Department, specially after the recent arrest of 12 poachers from the coffee estate.

 

"No vehicle will be allowed inside the forest without checking. If any weapon is found, the vehicle is seized and the person is immediately arrested," added the senior forest official.