Wild boars in Telangana to be culled

Sharpshooters roped in from Rifle Association.

Hyderabad: Established shooters who are members of the National Rifles Association of India and a few former members of the ‘Indians for Guns’ forum have been roped in by the Telangana state government to cull wild boars damaging agriculture crops.

Principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and chief wildlife warden of TS A.K. Srivastava has issued orders asking divisional forest officers to utilise the services of the panel of marksmen from Hyderabad. The services of E. Chandan, E. Chetan Reddy, A. Anirudh, Keshav Kamineni Rao, P. Raja Gopal Reddy, N. Vamsee Chakaravarthy, Shafath Ali Khan and Marcus G. Campos have been enlisted by the forest department.

The order stated: “Applications have been received from certain arms licence holders who are renowned shooters and they have offered voluntary service without any cost involved to shoot wild boars damaging agriculture crops on specific request of DFOs. Based on the applications a panel of persons who qualify as renowned shooters and who have valid arms licences has been prepared.”

Experts say they have experience in culling
District Forest Officers (DFOs) have been asked to providing logistics to the shooters at the nearest forest rest house and provide local transport. Wildlife experts say that the shooters shall be given training in wildlife identification and scientific methods of culling .

Mr Chandan said, “All of us have participated in culling operations in Africa and have got credentials. We have also done trophy hunting abroad and have enough experience in the wild. We have never come into the picture all these days as we run our own businesses. We are doing this voluntarily. The issue of wildlife training is being raised by certain vested interest elements who have a revenue model and have been charging the government all these days.”

Mr Rajagopal Reddy said, “Last July and November, I had gone to Bihar on the invitation of the government and culled blue bulls. We are all renowned shooters and we will not enter the forest. We will only do it in agriculture fields, that too on the request of DFOs and in the presence of forest officials. It is not necessary to have wildlife training. Identi-fication is done by fores-ters. Forest department is using our expertise to cull the wild boars.”

Mr N. Chakravarthy said, “I was a member of ‘Indians for Guns’ forum but I am not active any more. I have experience in culling in South Africa and Namibia. It would not be a problem as we have experience abroad.”

The wild boar menace is rampant in Adilabad, Nizamabad, Medak, Mahbubnagar and Karimnagar.

Mr Shafath Ali Khan said that he had experience in culling across India and also had written books on wildlife and had trained several foresters in tranquilisation and culling.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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