Ever since Kannur based Shaheena Sathar was trampled by a wild elephant during her stay at a Wayanad Resort, strict laws and rules are being enforced.
The first step towards that direction will be to shut down all the resorts near forests which have wild animals in their vicinity. And if the resort construction is shown to hamper the passage of their regular wandering routes, that is also considered unlawful. Equally punishable under wildlife law is wildlife hunting in the guise of night camping, prohibited trekking and night safari.
The forest officials who are overlooking these strict rules as well as allowing prohibited trekking will also be taken to task. Chief Wildlife Warden Surendra Kumar has given strict orders to take a count of all the resorts and homestays located near the forests.
Kannur Chief Forest Conservator DK Vinod Kumar has instructed five DFO officials to submit a report within a month. Resorts and homestays that fall under a kilometre radius of forest range will be recorded. And they will also survey whether any kind of wild animals (Elephants, tigers and wild buffaloes) were lurking in these premises and the list will be sent to the collector.
Poaching in Kerala
According to the intelligence report from the forest officials, Wayanad forests are a hotbed of illegal poaching in the guise of prohibited trekking. Despite a strict ban on Wildlife hunting and trade of animal parts in our country, there is a huge international black market for poaching.
Wild boars, sambar deers, civets, monitor lizards, and even pythons are among the most trafficked animals in Kerala forests. Craving for wild meat and some bizarre beliefs that the meat has medicinal values are two reasons why the wild animal meat trade has so many takers. And there was an increase in poaching during the lockdown.
In Wayanad recently a leopard was captured and skinned for its meat, teeth and skin, while in Thiruvananthapuram forests several sambar deers were poached as well as pythons in Kannur forests. Python meat is wrongly believed to cure diseases. The meat of Civet and monitor lizards were also in huge demand.
According to RTI, 849 wild elephants died in the state in the last decade, owing to several reasons like natural causes, electrocution, fight among tuskers, injuries caused by human planted snares and poaching.