Jungle Cat in the Bag

Suresh Kumar Rathod

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

No one knows the true scale of the killing of birds and small mammals in the Indian countryside, except that it is extremely common and relentless. 

On the morning of 28th November, when Balaji Rayadurgam, Karthik Ramamurthy and I went birding on the outskirts of Chennai, we heard gunshots. Closer inspection revealed that the shots were being fired by 2 poachers, who were coming out a field with a gun in hand and a bag. We caught them red-handed and snatched the weapons and the bag, anticipating birds inside. But we were taken by surprise as there was something else — a jungle cat — which was injured, and a dead francolin. It was sad for me to see the cat in such an situation. The poachers were professionally equipped with batteries fitted to a vibration device of some sort, torches, a gun and a motor bike. The Forest Department responded quickly when we called them, and took the poachers to their office, promising action. They also said that they would take the injured wild cat to the veterinary hospital for treatment. Hope the wild cat survived and was released back in the wild.

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