Indian villagers eat tiger meat in Raipur, Chhattisgarh

A swath of officials in the Indian city of Raipur, Chhattisgarh have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the illegal tiger trade and there appears to be evidence that villagers have been eating tiger body parts. 

Bengal tiger for illustration purposes only. Photo in public domain.

Eating tiger body parts almost exclusively occurs in the Far East of Asia e.g. in Vietnam, China and Laos. This is the first time to my knowledge that Indians in India have been involved in this conservation-busting practice. It must have happened before, however.

Two assistant sub-inspectors of police, five constables, three health department officials and a school headmaster are among those arrested for being involved in the illegal trade of a tiger hide. They caught them through a decoy operation on March 12th.

It is reported that two local residents have confessed to the police that they killed the tiger accidentally. They wanted to trap wild pigs in the Bacheli forest range. A tiger was trapped instead in December which had wandered from the Indravati Tiger Reserve. They left the tiger in the trap and it died after 2 or 3 days.

They skinned the cat and some of the elders from Parapur village (6 jours drive from Raipur) ate some of its flesh. They believe the tiger was aged 3.

The police recovered tiger flesh lumps from Budhru and Bhima's homes. They are investigating further if the villagers have eaten tiger meat.

In all the police have arrested 12 including five police officers. They had been tipped off by an informer. It appears that the police officers involved have been 'engaged in similar practices and were also warned'.

The police said that they ate the tiger for the usual reasons: to benefit their welfare. A spokesperson said:

"They were trying to perform puja for invoking prosperity as a part of their superstitious belief, but the involvement of policemen was sad."

If convicted they will be punished under the Wild Life (Protection) Act and other statutes. Puja means: making an offering of flowers or fruit to an image of a god.


Popular posts from this blog

Mythology in China - Bai Hu (white tiger)

Can tigers meow?

Reliable weight data for wild tigers are difficult to find