Home India News Elephants checkmate Jharkhand’s tribal hunters

Elephants checkmate Jharkhand’s tribal hunters

Ranchi, May 1 (IANS) This year, Jharkhand elephants did what the forest officials could not do in the past – chase away tribals who came to hunt and kill wild animals in Dalma sanctuary.

To celebrate the ongoing ‘Visu shikar’ festival, 400 tribal people of the Dalma Buru Sendra Sammittee (DBSS) had gathered at the wildlife sanctuary for a spot of hunting and killing when a herd of elephants saw them and chased them away.

The hunters, however, claimed to have killed a few boars and deer to mark the festival, local reports said. “We killed three boars and two deer for our festival,” said a tribal.

Despite laws against hunting in India and a media appeal on wildlife protection by Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto, who is also in charge of the forest and environment ministry, the tribals went ahead with their scheduled plan to celebrate the hunting festival this month.

The state government appeal had said: “There is a tradition to hunt and kill wild animals on the occasion of Visu Shikar, but there is need to change the conservative method to celebrate the festival.

“Come, we should take an oath to protect wild animals and celebrate our festival by not killing them.”

During the hunting festival, celebrated for a week from Monday, tribals wake up early, bathe and worship their god, ancestors and weapons.

Anthropologists say the festival originated to check the number of wild animals so that they do not pose a threat.