‘Illegal hunting rife in Bajhang during Yarsa collection time’

- BASANTA PRATAP SINGH, BAJHANG

May 15, 2016-

A group of hunters have started hunting endangered wild animals on the pretext of collecting Yarsagumba—the caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps sinensis)—in the mountainous belts of Bajhang district. Hunters are active in the Syang and Chalna forests after snowfall during mid-May, according to locals. 

Ram Bahadur Bohara, a local of Kanda Village, said hunters have already killed 13 musk deer and three snow leopards there. “They have used muskets and set up traps to kill the protected animals in Syang and Chalna forests,” said Bohara. 

A hunter said they have already killed around 60 wild animals, including Musk deer, Himalayan tahr (Jharal) and Himalayan blue sheep (Naur) in Kanda. “These animals could not run properly after snowfall. We are taking an advantage of the conditions to kill them,” the hunter said, requesting anonimity.

Secretary of Kanda VDC Dhan Bahadur Gharti said that around 200 wild animals are killed during Yarsa collection time each year. “As a result, the population of wild animals has decreased,” he said. 

The VDC office said they had notified the District Administration Office and District Forest Office, urging them to curb on the illegal hunting of such animals. “However, we are yet to hear from them,” he said. 

Lal Bahadur Bohara of Daulichaur Village said some people had been hunting wild animals at Tapoban, Biru, Kunda, Dhansera, Jaljala, Thade, Chupi, Malya, Dhapaun, Madhukharka, Dhaula, Syanban, Chalnaban and Raidhungi areas. “They are hunting animals using muskets, traps and hunting dogs,” said Bohara. According to villagers, the hunters kill around 300 wild animals during Yarsa collection period at Surma and Daulichaur areas each year. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Superintendent of Police Laxmiraj Adhikari said that police teams would be deployed in Chaugaun and Kanda areas soon. 

“We have been facing difficulties to stop poaching due to difficult terrain,” said Adhikari, assuring that the District Police Office would crack down on poachers. Villagers say smugglers have been smuggling hides and parts of various wild animals from Kada VDC to Taklakot in Tibet.

Published: 15-05-2016 07:40

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