I visited Nagaland for a butterfly and moth survey from 6 to 14 April 2013.
While on the Dimapur – Kohima highway, just before Zubza, there were 3 people on the road holding a long bamboo pole with an animal tied at the end of the pole. We stopped to see what it was and we were shocked to see a Slow Loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) tied with a string trap. We asked him what he was doing with it. He told us that it was for sale for Rs. 500. After seeing us photograph him and the animal he hurriedly left towards Zubza.
See related post about a captive Slow Loris in Mokakchong, Nagaland.
Editors note: In a recent statewide Nagaland biodiversity survey conducted by students and alumni of NCBS, Bangalore, the teams found wild animals being kept by villagers – some as pets, others for eventual consumption. These included rare mammals like Leopard Cats, Slow Loris and Stump-tailed Macaques as well as several bird species.
In their report to the Nagaland forest department, the team recommended that:
- Village communities need to be educated that keeping wild animals in captivity as pets is illegal.
- Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centres needs to be established in key sites for wild animals, with modern facilities and experienced veterinarians to deal with rescued, orphaned or injured animals which can eventually be released back into the wild when considered fit to survive without human aid.
Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
In Northeastern states like Nagaland, village communities need to be educated that capturing and keeping wild animals in captivity as pets is illegal.