Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
Local hunting such as this is widely prevalent across India in both urban and rural areas. These hunters typically target waterfowl, deer, pig, etc. If you come across any such incidents please report them immediately to local law enforcement officials.
At around 11 a.m. on the Bangalore Bird Race Day, Suma Rao, Gayathri Naik, Garima Bhatia, Jainy Maria and I were birding at Karenahalli kere, one of the lakes off Kanakapura Road, just past Somanahalli in the outskirts of Bangalore. Our attention was focussed on a flock of about 30-35 lesser whistling teals, when we heard a gunshot, and the entire flock took to the air. Right across the lake from us, we could see a lone injured duck flapping desperately in an attempt to fly. A local hunter came out from behind the reeds where he had been hiding, took the duck by its neck, and walked out. After hanging around there for a while, he and his companions left.
Soon after we heard the gunshot, I called up Rajesh, who is a wildlife rescue volunteer for BBMP from Malleswaram. He contacted Sanjeev, who in turn tried to get the local law enforcement to make it to the lake before the killer left. We waited for some time, and then headed out to Nelligudda kere, where once again, we heard a gunshot, and saw a large flock of lesser whistling teals take off. But we were too far away to see the shooter or to make out if any duck had been killed.
Local hunting such as this is widely prevelant across India in both urban and rural areas. These hunters typically target waterfowl, deer, pig, etc. If you come across any such incidents please report them immediately to local law enforcement officials.
In Bangalore, please contact:
1. The Forest Department — this will come under the jurisdiction of Conservator of Forests, Bangalore Circle (Tel: 080-23344686) or DCF Bangalore Rural (Tel: 080-23347069), and/or
2. The local Police (Thalgatpura or Harohalli Police Station).
3. Another option is to call the IG Forest Cell (Mr Narayana Gowda Tel: 080-22228600).
4. The Honorary Wildlife Warden for BBMP.
In this case, in all probability, the weapon used is likely illegal (country-made muzzle loader) and since it may amount to a violation of the Arms Act also, going to the Police or IG Forest cell may be better as they have powers to prosecute such violations.
Note by Uma K and images by Garima Bhatia, both Bangalore-based birdwatchers with inputs from Praveen Bhargav of Wildlife First.