Horrific Killings of Fishing Cats in Howrah, West Bengal

Tiasa Adhya


HEAL

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Listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the Fishing Cat is accorded the highest level of protection as the tiger, lion and the elephant in India. The fishing cat is also the State Animal of West Bengal and local conservation NGOs feel that the cat needs coordinated action from all departments for its protection.

On 20th January 2022, local conservationist Chitrak Pramanick was informed of the killing of three female Fishing Cats in Bagnan, Howrah district. The ​carcasses were dumped at one place with the legs tied with plastic ropes. No injury marks were visible on the bodies and from the condition of the carcasses, it appeared that they were killed over a period of 3-4 days, probably by poisoning. The shocking incident seems to be a symbolic display of mockery against long term conservation efforts in the district.

The Forest Department then lodged a prayer to the Alipore District Court to involve the Police Department in arresting the culprits. The court gave a directive to the police to issue a warrant and arrest the culprits.

Listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the Fishing Cat is accorded the highest level of protection as the tiger, lion and the elephant in India. The fishing cat is also the state animal of West Bengal and local NGOs feel that the cat needs coordinated action from all departments for its protection.

Update: The culprits have got anticipatory bail and are not in custody.

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