Twist In The 'Tail': Tiger Killed In MP Allegedly As Part Of Black Magic Rituals
On May 7, the carcass of a tiger was found in a pit in Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Reserve, reported NDTV. The police have arrested three people based on the tip-off given by Nagpur Forest department.
A statement from the Madhya Pradesh reserve’s field director stated that the carcass was found near Kumbhpani village in Pench Tiger Reserve. Ramdas Bhangu Chavhan, Tarasingh Shivprasad Rathore and Bhikamsingh Jeetsingh Rathod, had been arrested from near a temple in Nagpur’s Ramtek on April 5 for allegedly smuggling tiger parts. Poachers had killed the tiger and taken away its claws and tail, but those who have the tail are still at large.
Pench Tiger Reserve’s statement said that the tiger, the carcass of which was an old one, might have been killed as part of black magic rituals which are prevalent among certain tribal communities living around the forests there. However, a probe is underway.
What’s in the ‘tail’?
In the last 45 days, in Madhya Pradesh, forest officials have found that the tails of a leopard and two tigers have been sawn off along with claws, whiskers and paws. The teeth and hide, however, were left intact. An autopsy report would reveal the cause of its death.
A forest official, mentioning that tigers are often killed for their hides and bones to be smuggled to China, expressed confusion over why they were being killed for their tails.
“Tiger tails were used to treat cutaneous conditions and rheumatism in traditional Chinese medicine when smuggling was rampant across the India-China border, but not anymore. We believe sorcery could be a reason,” The Times Of India quoted him as saying.
On Monday, May 6, an adult tiger was found dead in Ratapani near Bhopal. Last month from Khargone, the corpse of a leopard was found with its tail severed.
A myth prevailing in certain rural areas claim that tiger paws have the power to make wealth rain from the sky. At the instigation of practitioners of black magic, several leopards and tigers were killed last year for their paws. However, the fact that tigers are being killed for their tails has left officials flummoxed.
In another bizarre incident of tiger poaching in Madhya Pradesh in the past, a radio-collared tiger was killed in Satpura Tiger Reserve (STR) in order to extract its fat to be used to treat aches and erectile dysfunction.
Figures by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) states that in just four months this year, Madhya Pradesh has lost 11 tigers, while it had lost 26 last year.
It is unfortunate that such myths and superstitions prompt people to kill animals which are already endangered in the country. The Logical Indian urges authorities to take stricter measures to prevent poaching.