UP: Forest dept tries to save owls on Diwali, elephants and helicopters are deployed to protect them

It has never happened before that the forest department in Uttar Pradesh has deployed not only its patrolling teams but also four elephants to keep a watch over owls to save them from tantrik rituals

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Aas Mohd Kaif

The world has reached the moon and our government officials are still deploying elephants to safeguard owls. The information was confirmed that the forest department officials of the Kalagadh range in Bijnor are working day and night to save owls from the tantriks

A high alert has been issued in the forests of Corbett tiger reserve on the occasion of Diwali. According to the Deputy Director of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Amit Verma, this was done to save the lives of owls and for this reason the employees' leaves have been canceled.

Half a dozen teams of patrolling have been deployed for this task. According to DFO Atul Kumar Tripathi, it has been done on the orders of high-level officials as there is a danger to the life of this bird on Deepawali. The region will not only be patrolled by vehicles but the officials will also be using helicopters for an overhead view to keep a watch over these birds.

Officials have declared the Uttar Pradesh border area as a sensitive zone. According to the District Forest Officer Tripathi, special protection is being given to the forests of Adanala, Plain and Medavan range on the northern border of the state. Four elephants are also being deployed for patrolling the area. It has never happened before.

The Chief Conservator has issued an order in this regard. In fact, around Diwali, the tantric ritual being performed with owl blood is always talked about and tantriks are always looking for owls for this purpose. All this exercise is being done to save owls from the tantriks.

According to Anil Chaudhary, an animal-loving resident of Bijnor, it is a matter of great concern that so much efforts is being invested in saving the lives of owls which are already on the verge of extinction. Obviously, there is still no improvement in the social awareness, people are still stuck in superstitious beliefs and black magic rituals. Sacrificing an animal for such rituals is a sign of barbarity. Unfortunately, people still have faith in such regressive and useless rituals and the tantriks conducting these rituals.

World Wildlife Fund has recently released an Advisory in which an appeal has been made to the people of the country to protect these owls from Tantriks on Diwali. WWF has said that owls are fast becoming extinct in India whereas hundreds of people are being caught trading owls or owl parts illegally. According to experts, there are more than 200 species of owls in the world, out of which 30 are found in India. The website of an organisation called Traffic India has shared this information too.

According to Saket, a member of Traffic India, people start sacrificing owls from Dussehra. During Diwali maximum number of owl sacrifices are made. The owl is a protected bird under the Indian Wildlife Act, 1972. Owls are on the verge of extinction. Rock Owl, Brown Fish, Wood Owl, and Motel Owl are some of the species of owl which are found in India.

Illegal trading of owls are carried out on a wider scale in the Kumhar mohalla of Meerut. On the condition of anonymity, a businessman says that owls are being sold on a rate of ₹10,000 and the price can be as high as ₹1 lakh.

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