Hyderabad: The animal rights wing of the Humane Society International (HSI) has written to the Union information and broadcasting ministry asking it to develop a protocol for the media on reporting incidents of human-wildlife conflict.
It says sections of the media typically vilified imperilled species and presents animals as a threat, thus obscuring the complexity of the issue.
Members of the HSI alleged that the way animals are portrayed by media channels has an impact on the general public. They said that the vilification of animals involved in such conflicts can lead to widespread outrage against an entire species and result in retaliatory killings.
They add that news reports regarding human-wildlife conflicts often serve to misinform the public about the underlying causes. These reports position humans as victims while ignoring the plight of the animals.
Mr N.G. Jayasimha, managing director of the HSI-India, says, “Reports don’t tell the complete story regarding the complexity of the issue. For instance, they don’t say that the loss of habitat and competition for waning resources has led to the increased incidence of encounters between wild animals and human populations. They also fail to mention that tools for the mitigation of human-wildlife conflict exist in the form of special fencing, trained wildlife officers and public education on what to do in an encounter with a wild animal.”