Cyber Wildlife Trafficking

I saw a very interesting news on NDTV 24 x 7 Witness which was a real eye opener to the heights wildlife trafficking in India has reached. The so called smaller news are lost in the big headlines of yet another shot at cheap politics by Raj Thackeray or Mamata Banerjee pushing West Bengal back by some decades or Nature’s fury unleashed in Bihar. But this yet another poaching news quoted below shows the status and condition of wildlife in India.

In a major haul, the Commissioner Police on Monday seized 53 ivory antiques at College Square in Cuttack and arrested two traffickers in this connection. Acting on a tip off the Malgodown police arrested two persons Pramod Mohanty of Jagatsingpur and Kishore Nayak of Kendrapara districts allegedly accused of possessing the antiques in two bags. The articles were worth lakhs of rupees in Indian currency and would be worth crores in the international market, said DCP AN Sinha. An organised inter -State racket is suspected behind the crime and the police would take the help of the Forest Department for further investigations, said Commissioner BK Sarma.

But how many of us know that these poachers have taken the crime to the next level and are now doing their business online? They are now no longer the villagers killing animals and selling them. They are educated and technology friendly. This guy Jeevan, a pet store owner in real life, used to advertise freely his “pets” on social networking website Orkut and buyers from all over the world used to fix their deal on email or chat rooms for any exotic bird. This criminal has been caught but obviously there are still people like him out there. There is supply when there is a demand. And when people are willing to give Rs. 1.5 Lakh for a wood owl to be used in voodoo, of course there will be sellers willing to earn money. I share the news clip here which exposes a case of cyber trafficking of wildlife in Meerut. An informative article on poaching of animals in India is available here. I found another heartrending picture of poaching for Rhino horns. How can anybody be so cruel to a mute being?

P.S. In the clip initially an ad will play and then the news starts. I have done everything to capture the streaming video but have been unsuccessful. Help is welcome.


29 thoughts on “Cyber Wildlife Trafficking

  1. very very disturbing. I cant imagine how someone can hurt a mute animal . I am in tears after seeing this picture.

    But come to think of it . Why do we always blame politicians and system for indifference?. I think people of india are worst than these politicians. They let this nautankis do whatever they want.

    India was once very rich in wild life. It is due to the indifference of people that has brought us to this position. Every day one Tiger is poached in india!!.

    India shining !!? ..huuuh

    Reema: Welcome to my blog! The pic made me very sad too. Yes its really the fault of people as they are the ones who go into the forest and hunt these animals…whereas they should stop anyone from doing that. Keep visiting!

  2. I saw bits of this program, and that picture of the rhino is shocking. It’s a wonder that tv channels play up to these politicians instead of reporting some real news.

    Reema: Some channels like Aaj Tak and Star News would show some religious program as fill in program but never show news from all parts of world. We never get to see any news of so many countries of the world.

  3. Rhino ! That picture is disheartening. The reason the poachers do it because there are buyers. Track them first, I think that could help stop this trafficking.

    Reema: Yes thats the truth in many cases..whenever there is demand there is supply.

  4. Well, after so many years of law enactment and creation of more laws and socieites, is anyone open minded enough to ask: “Is there a better way of protecting wildlife? Are we wrong in how we are going about this?”
    The answer is simple: Yes, we have been wrong all through to protect wild life by curbing natural human activites and trades. It will never work, and is failing all over the world.
    Free trade in organ or body parts of animals will kill the black market and the prices will drop On top of that, there will be a market incentive to breed these animals so that more sales can happen and profits booked.
    The other way is bunk!

    Reema: Interesting. By free trade do u mean legalization? By legalizing it or with free trade we may lessen the black market but I dont think it will die. Instead of breeding people may find it a shortcut to just go and kill some for earning faster. Anyway my point is there should be no killing or trade for purposes like aphrodisiacs or ivory items or leather goods or even voodoo!!!

  5. The whole-world has become money-minded and materialistic these days .. Money rules the world as well as people’s minds, morals and values .. Cant help it, Reema ..

    Reema: Sad but true.

  6. Poor Rhino and many such animals! Frankly i wasnt able to go through the links.. but the post is moving! Nothing new which i didnt know, still it moved me, yet again!! 😦

    Reema: Poor animals and birds 😦

  7. Saw the piece. Knew about it and about the online trafficking. A friend of mine told me about how his prof actually saves these poor birds and helps them out! I had not known he was saving the poached birds but was enraged that he was caging and curbing the birds. My friend enlightened me as to how the birds would probably lead a longer life with the prof than outside.

    Reema: That is the explanation people give but they dont realize its all a part of a bigger plan of Nature. We are not to meddle in it by caging them on the pretext of protecting them. Like if i want my child to be safe and live a longer life, it doesn’t mean I have the right to keep him/her at home 24×7, 365 days for the rest of his life!! Its not what he/she was born for!

  8. @ R-Doc and @Reema:

    Pity Amit (Lotusnova) doesn’t read this blog!

    R-Doc: Extending your argument, perhaps the way to stop the ill-treatment of women and children and increasingly old people in India would be to have an open market to trade in them too, no?

    I think particularly in India, this is a more profound issue.

    While Hinduism, unlike Judaism and Islam, does not hold any animal as “impure’, the whole concept of the cycle of repeat births and deaths until Nirvana is attained, is essentially rooted in the concept of a hierarchy of superiority amongst animals with the human being sitting at the top.

    Without our even realising, this concept may be what determines our attitudes to animals, that they are generally beings worth less than us so we can do what we wish with them.

    (Why just Hindus? I had Muslim and Christian classmates who observed fasting and believed in re-birth. Admittedly these were all between 13-17 years of age so not very steeped into their own religions either.)

    The more important factor is that we have an ocean of humans whose welfare we do not much care for. Animals are very low in anyone’s consideration list and considering so many humans in India live in subhuman conditions, I am not against this prioritisation.

    Doubly so, because I live in the UK, a very animal loving country where people animals before people. So much so that animal rights activists do not think twice about hurting someone’s children or sending syringes full of viruses through their post! I know people who do not do animal research but stand for science and experimentation in general (and are aware of limitations of both animal and in vitro models); and I know people who have had to uproot families and move to other countries because of this terrorism by animal rights activists.

    It is by the way much harder to get animals and animal products into Europe and the US than it may seem. So invariably the Indian “suppliers” are dealing with criminals/ smugglers posing as buyers, than with ordinary, even if rich, folk.

    One could argue whose piece it is to enforce their laws. In this case, I would argue, it is India’s responsibility but knowing that law enforcement is only catching up with new ‘channels’ of crime, vigilant civilians should do their duty in informing law enforcement too (of course, the big underlying assumption is that you can rely on law enforcement to do something at all!).

    Good post, Reema but a Pandora’s Box of issues too.

    Reema: You have made some very good points. I wholly agree that we citizens should be vigilant and atleast try to do our bit. Thanks.

  9. Shefaly:
    You are making a logical error by bringing in humans when we talking of animals. The concept of rights is essentially human. You cannot treat humans that way because they inherently have rights. Animals do not per se have any rights (imagine a jungle where the tiger starves because it thinks “I can’t violate the deer, even though I am starving!”).
    China is actually trying this out on a trial basis: permitting trade of tiger products, thereby encouraging businessmen to breed the animals in sanctuaries. The availability of products reduces the enormous profits this high-risk business of poaching. This is just the same way it works in drug laws in countries.

  10. @ R-Doc

    By making that point you are confirming the argument I advance for continued ill-treatment of animals by humans in India – that humans have supra-rights that supercede animals’ right to, even, survival, leave alone survival in their natural habitat without fear of poaching or hunting.

    The hierarchy of power extends to the jungle according to your argument. But in reality, a tiger only hunts when he is hungry not because he is idle. That is the food chain, not a profit motive.

    I am afraid I do not hold China in any high regard when it comes to setting regulation precedent. I do a lot of work on comparative regulation and their regulatory frameworks – let’s for argument sake use the example of drugs and therapies – are often written by the firms they are meant to regulate. Poacher and gamekeeper – to extend the core story of this post – come to mind!

    Sorry, Doc, no can do. Market forces are not really solving many fundamental problems in India. Continued social disparities lead to an unstable society not a sustainable, peaceful one.

  11. @ R-Doc

    Oh forgot to add; it is not about ‘logic’, it is about definitional boundaries of how one frames the ‘world’. I am no great lover of animals but I happen to think – logically – that various species play a key role in biodiversity. We do not yet know how upsetting that balance would affect us in the long run.

  12. Orangutans are almost extinct due to this illegal pet trade. The only ones remaining are in just 2 places in the world – Indonesia (or somewhere in Asia I think) and Kansas city zoo. It was very sad when I saw the animal in the zoo sitting all alone without anyone of its own. It must be depressing.

    Reema: Loneliness is the biggest punishment I think. I’m to sad to imagine that poor orangutan’s condition.

  13. Had read the post yest but in a hurry.

    This is pathetic. What a means of using education and technological advancement. Appalling indeed.

    As you have pointed out these news remain buried under insignificant news items. Had you not posted this article we wouldn’t have even known.

    Dunno where we human beings are going. Instead of moving ahead in life we always 110 steps backwards all for status or some other symbolic shit.

    And am glad that am an avid viewer of NDTV they as a media house are still truthful to themselves.

    Reema: I’m glad atleast this many people came to know about the news through my post. NDTV is really quite good and doesnt dwell on same news for whole day like rescue of a boy from a bore hole!!

  14. DAmn!!! thats not a good news..
    major fault in web2.0.. its just too easy for everybody..
    these guys must be shot in public..
    so cruel indeed ..

    Reema: Law enforcement should be stricter and more efficient along with caring citizens and honest forest officers.

  15. I feel deeply saddened by the pictures and the references. I totally feel disgusted that people are doing this to animals. And I want to do something to prevent this.

    All my life, I’ve been harboring dreams of being a tiger conservationist. They are my favorite animal and I would like to do something for them.

    More interesting was the little dialogue between you and Rambodoc. I was surprised at Rambodoc’s thoughts. Even though he sounded pretty rational, I didn’t agree with him.

    Like Shefaly, I thought that the humans having ‘rights’ to do whatever they want to animals who don’t have ‘rights’ is kinda human-centric.

    Reema: I think you mean the dialogue between Shefaly and RDoc 🙂 I too feel saying that animals don’t have any rights is very human centric and the thought behind all this poaching.

  16. Gosh, what an eye opener. The pic is so heart renching. Wish people and esp the government stood up to do something about this.

    Reema: I think Government puts animals on last priority when there are bomb blasts, hunger, poverty, flood and what not happening in the country.

  17. i really wonder if we will come to a stage, when our kids ask us to take them to the zoo and the only animals there are monkeys and rabbits.

    Reema: Welcome to my blog! You know I keep a scrap book for paper cuttings and photos of animals and birds because that all I might have to show my kids or grand-kids as to what an elephant looked like!! Keep visiting!

  18. I think it is an extension of how we treat fellow humans. Since we don’t care for a second before killing each other, animals come no where in priority.

    Reema: Exactly!! When we have no compassion for our own species then how can we care for other species who are below us in the food chain?

  19. Hi Reema,

    Its very disturbing to see the rhino without horns. But thats how the some humans are now, so cruel, not worrying about other creatures, greedy, doing anything for money. And they must be punished severly. We want that, but our laws have many loopholes. With some stringent laws and importantly, change in attitude of these guys only this can be permanently removed.

    Reema: Welcome to my blog! Yes I agree with your view. The loopholes must be plugged and awareness should be spread in the people. Keep visiting!

  20. Most people think its a joke regarding these creatures and others for the profit but pouchers will not go unpunished for the crimes and deaths they have caused to animals. Laws are provided for many kinds of pouching on animals and some have been sentence to death themselves for these animals. Tribes have bind by oath to protect animals and respect them at all cost whether life or death is resulted. I have made a movement against pouchers and for the safety or protection for the animals in severe danger by using social networks to post every endanger animal especially the recent event in Japan for trapping and killing of dolphines. Mark my words they will not get away for the crimes against animals they will recieve severe punishment at all cost. Wildlife animals deserve to live as much as mankind deserve. People that cause death and harm to animals must be stopped at all cost….

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