Shillong(Meghalaya), May 6 :A person was arrested after images showing some poachers killing and skinning a pregnant Asiatic black bear in Meghalaya”s East Khasi Hills district went viral on social media, according to official sources.
State Forest Minister had sent a team of wildlife officers to the area to inquire about the incident, following which the arrest was made on Tuesday night.
The pregnant bear was seen in the image lying with her tongue out as four persons were skinning the animal , leading to an outrage on social media.
According to reports ,the incident occured on May 4 at Mawpyrthuh village in Pynursla sub-division of the state.
Pictures has gone viral on the social media, showed that men proudly displaying the Himalayan black bear they killed in a jungle.
A caption of the photographs written in local Khasi dialect noted that the full grown bear was caught by the residents of Mawpyrthuh village under East Khasi Hills district on May 4.
Mawpyrthuh is small village under Pynursla Block.
“We saw the pictures of the Himalayan black bear. We are still corroborating it and coordinating with State police to ascertain it,” a forest official said.
Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong had said that those involved in killing the bear will be dealt as per the Wildlife Act.
“Let the law take its own course,” Tynsong told journalists even as he urged people to lodge an FIR if they come across killing of wildlife animals.
“I’m deeply saddened and horrified as I came to know about the brutality committed by a group of people,” Information and Public Relations Minister James Sangma tweeted.
He said the government will take appropriate action against such acts and added, “But, the sad reality is that so much still needs to be done to sensitize people about the importance of protection and conservation.”
Himalayan black bear is an animal protected under Schedule II of Wildlife Protection Act.
On Saturday, foresters seized a large haul of Sambar deer meat, carcass of a freshly-killed civet cat and two weapons from Nongkhyllem Reserve Forest in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district.
However, the poachers escaped leaving behind freshly chopped body parts including head, limbs and raw meat of an almost full-grown male Sambar deer and carcass of a freshly-killed civet cat.
The offenders will be booked under relevant sections of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
Many such incidents of poaching are happening in the interior villages of the state during the lockdown period but are not reported, it is learnt .
(By special arrangement with Highland Post )