Every day, hundreds of waterfowl (both resident and migratory) and other animals notified in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, meet with a fatal end in Puducherry (Pondicherry, Union Territory). A large number of gypsies or narikoravas, hunt these birds and sell the meat right under the nose of the Forest Department. Birds are caught at the nearby Oussudu Lake (which is notified as a bird sanctuary) and openly sold for their meat at roadside stalls on Koodapakkam Road, Odiampet Road junction and Villianur Road.
The narikoravas live in colonies near the bird sanctuary and hunt the birds using country-made guns. They also indiscriminately spread food laced with Endosulfan, a highly toxic pesticide banned by the government, over water plants in the lake, thus killing birds en masse and heavily polluting the lake. The carcasses are then stuffed in gunny sacks and sold to prospective buyers in nearby villages.
With this being a daily activity, it is terrible to imagine the number of birds and animals killed every year. Migratory birds visit the Oussudu Lake during October to May. Other birds are resident at the lake throughout the year. Besides birds, rare and endangered animals including jungle cats, palm civets, porcupines, monitor lizards and jackals, are also killed and sold. As these animals are covered by the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, killing them entails a fine of Rs. 25,000 or imprisonment or both.