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Odisha: As vigil on gun use increases, poachers use dogs to hunt prey animals in Similipal | Bhubaneswar News – Times of India

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BHUBANESWAR: Similipal Tiger Reserve authorities said with joint squad of forest and police personnel keeping a strict vigil on use of weapons by poachers, some instances of dogs being used by villagers to hunt animals has come to the fore.
Use of hunting dogs for poaching is a traditional method and it has been found to be in practice in several sanctuaries in Odisha. In Similipal also, dogs were being used. Since weapon use had gradually made inroads into hunting practice, use of hunting dogs was no more in practice.
It has been two months since the joint squad started working together in Similipal after two personnel- a forester and forest guard- were killed by poachers. Around 200 country-made weapons have been seized by the police and forest personnel in more than two months in a special drive to de-weaponise villagers living in fringe of Similipal.
“Since the joint squad started working together, no poaching related incident has been reported except some poaching attempts with the help of dogs. Hunting dogs are pressed to chase animals such as deer and wild boar. The dogs injured them with bite and then the poachers catch them. But, such attempts have also been thwarted. The squad is vigilant about this as well,” said Similipal field director Prakash Gogineni.
The villagers use dogs to shift the dead animals from inside the forest in quick time as they work as shield.
“The presence of dogs also scares away forest personnel. When the villagers use snare to trap prey animals, dogs are used in that case also as a shield so that till an animal is trapped and shifted dogs can keep the forest personnel at bay,” said a forest officer.
As many as 120 police personnel and another 100 forest staffs from neighbouring divisions were initially deployed at the core and other vantage areas of Similipal after the non-gazetted forest service association gave cease work call following killing of two personnel. The forest personnel joined back after the government promised to fulfil their demands. But still, police personnel are deployed to supplement the daily patrolling in Similipal.

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