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TelanganaKhammamKhammam: Incident of bat hunting reported at Madhira

Khammam: Incident of bat hunting reported at Madhira

Published: 2nd Oct 2021 8:04 pm

Khammam: A rather strange incident of bat hunting has been reported at Madhira town in the district. The incident took place at Ramalayam in the town a week ago where some non-local hunters laid some rope traps hanging on neem trees on the temple premises. The locals took the matter to the notice of the district forest officials who inspected the spot and probed the matter.

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When contacted, Madhira Forest Range Officer (FRO), Vijaya Lakshmi quoting the local’s statements told Telangana Today that some persons from Eluru in Andhra Pradesh visited the temple and hunted bats. They used slings and rope traps to hunt the creatures. It was the first instance wherein bats were found to be hunted. The temple priest and residents around the temple were asked to be vigilant and inform forest officials if they spotted any stranger visiting the place again. The traps were removed, she added.

According to a retired DFO, Kazipeta Purushotham hunting and killing bats was a crime under Indian Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972 and they were scheduled I and IV animals depending on their species. He informed that those hunting bats do it for the purpose of consumption and there were some such incidents reported in Jagtial district where people hunt and ate bats. ‘Every wild animal has a right to live and one should not jeopardise their lives’ he noted.

A Chiropterologist (a bat scientist) and Associate Professor of Zoology at Osmania University, C Srinivasulu explained that some sections of the society consume a bat species, Indian flying fox, for meat and believing their meat possess medicinal properties, which was a misconception. Either eating for meat or for medical purposes, those resorting to it were throwing their lives into danger. Though bats are an important part of wildlife in the ecology, they were also a zoonotic disease reservoir and interaction between humans and bats could lead to pathogen spillover and cases of Nipah virus infections was an example.

Bats serve forest regeneration, dispersal of seeds, flower pollination and pest control. hence they should be protected. The local NGOs, forest and police officials need to carry out programmes to educate the locals, Srinivasulu suggested.

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