In a shocking act of animal cruelty, five men allegedly killed a pregnant wild buffalo in Malappuram district of Kerala. The incident came to light after officials of the Chakkikuzhi Forest Station received a tip-off that some men were consuming wild animal meat.
The state forest department has arrested six people in connection with the buffalo's brutal killing. While Suresh Babu was arrested on August 16, five more people were arrested on August 17 which included- Abu alias Nanippa (47), Muhammed Ansif (23), Muhammed Busthan (30), Suhail (28) and Ashiq (27). They have been booked under various sections of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, for illegal hunting and trade.
The forest officers also seized about 25 kilograms of buffalo meat from the house of one of the accused during a raid conducted late at night on August 10. The raid also revealed that the accused hunted the wild buffalo at Puncha forest in Kalikavu range of Nilambur south forest division.
"At the time, we did not know what wild animal it was. We assumed it was of a deer. However, during the course of the investigation, we found that it was the meat of a wild buffalo. Based on the statement of the accused and bones we recovered from the site, we also learnt that the buffalo was pregnant when it was killed," P Suresh, the range officer of Kalikavu Range of Nilambur South Forest Division, told The News Minute.
It was only after the accused were nabbed that the forest officials found that the bovine was pregnant.
"We recovered animal bones from the site when we took there accused persons for evidence collection. Among the bones, we found the small bones, which we believed belonged to its calf. The team, which analysed the bones, confirmed that it belonged to a calf. Later, the accused persons confessed that the buffalo was pregnant with a calf when they killed it, although they said they did not consume the calf's meat," Suresh said.
The incident comes months after the tragic death of a pregnant elephant in Palakkad district that led to massive outrage across the country.