On Monday, officials reported that a video circulating online allegedly showed chinkara, an endangered species of gazelle, being hung from a tree while individuals cooked and consumed its meat.
The video prompted protests from the Bishnoi community and wildlife activists. The Bishnoi Tiger Force submitted a memorandum to the commissioner of police and the divisional forest officer, calling for the arrest of all individuals depicted in the video and for them to be charged under the Wild Life (Protection) Act.
Additionally, the group demanded the formation of flying squads to conduct regular patrols in the area. The chinkara is a protected species in India and hunting, killing, or eating them is prohibited.
The Bishnoi Tiger Force has stated that they were assured of stern action against the people seen in a video consuming the meat of a chinkara, and have given a two-day deadline. If no action is taken, the group has threatened a symbolic demonstration at the collectorate on Thursday.
The video shows the animal hanging from a tree as its skin is being peeled and meat cut and cooked, and has been widely circulated since Sunday.
Chinkara, also known as the Indian Gazelle, is a small, beautiful and graceful antelope species found in the deserts and grasslands of India and Pakistan. They are solitary animals and are known for their speed and agility, being able to run at speeds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph).
Chinkaras are herbivorous animals and feed on leaves, fruits, flowers and grass. They have adapted to live in hot and arid regions and are able to extract moisture from their food, reducing their need for water.
They are able to survive without water for long periods of time, and can even obtain moisture from dew that collects on plants early in the morning.
These animals are an important part of the ecosystem in which they live, as they help in maintaining the balance of nature by controlling the growth of plants and providing food for predators such as lions, tigers and leopards. However, despite their ecological importance, chinkaras are facing several threats.
Threats to chinkaras
One of the biggest threats to chinkaras is hunting, which is illegal in India but still continues. The animals are hunted for their meat, skin and antlers, which are used in traditional medicines.
In addition to hunting, habitat destruction and fragmentation due to human activities such as agriculture, grazing, and infrastructure development are also major threats to chinkara populations. Climate change and increasing instances of drought also pose a threat to these animals.
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