To Protect Rhinos, This National Park Shoots Poachers — 50 People Killed So Far

To Protect Rhinos, This National Park Shoots Poachers“The instruction is whenever you see poachers or hunters, we should start our guns and hunt them.”

“You shoot them?”

“Yah, yah. Fully ordered to shoot them. Whenever you see the poachers or any people during night-time we are ordered to shoot them.”

This exchange took place between journalist Justin Rowlatt and a wildlife preserve guard in India and highlights a practice that’s produced both encouragingly positive and heartbreakingly negative effects — all in the name of conservation.

Last week, BBC detailed a story unfolding at Kaziranga National Park, a wildlife conservation area in east India.

Since 2014, the Indian government has granted the power to park guards to shoot and kill any and all suspected poachers with little worry they’ll face legal consequences afterward.

“Kill the unwanted,” M.K. Yadava, then-director of the park — and the man who introduced the controversial policy — recommended in a 2014 report.

He also stated his belief that environmental crimes such as poaching are more serious than murder, as “[t]hey erode the very root of existence of all civilizations on this earth silently.”

Rangers-protect-3-of-the-last-remaining-northern-white-rhinos-in-the-world-65Kaziranga is home to several endangered species, most notably tigers, rhinos, and elephants. And strictly in terms of conservation, there’s no question the park’s efforts have been effective, as Rowlatt, South Asia correspondent for BBC, points out:

“There were just a handful of Indian one-horned rhinoceros left when the park was set up a century ago in Assam, in India’s far east. Now there are more than 2,400 — two-thirds of the entire world population.”

But the means by which the government has achieved this success have, from time to time, produced tragic results.

The problem, explains Rowlatt, reporting from India, is that “[m]any of the communities here are tribal groups that have lived in or alongside the forest for centuries, collecting firewood as well as herbs and other plants from it.”

And with no fences or clearly defined borders, some villagers who unwittingly crossed over onto parkland have found themselves in the crosshairs of Kaziranga guards.

Rowlatt spoke to one father whose disabled son was shot and killed by guards after he strayed into the park while tending to the family cows.

“He could barely do up his own trousers or his shoes,” Kachu Kealing said. “Everyone knew him in the area because he was so disabled.”

In July of last year, a seven-year-old boy had most of his calf muscle blown away after he was fired by guards while walking along the edge of the park. To this day, the boy can barely walk and is usually carried where he needs to go by his older brother.

Rangers-protect-3-of-the-last-remaining-northern-white-rhinos-in-the-worldWorse, there seems to be little interest on the part of the Indian government to investigate park shootings — or even the illegal poaching itself. Only two people have been prosecuted for poaching in the last three years. During that same period, 50 have been shot dead by guards.

“This kind of impunity is dangerous,” human rights activist and local tribal member Pranab Doley told BBC. “It is creating animosity between the park and people living in the periphery of the park.”

Sophie Grig of the London-based charity group Survival International seems to agree.

“The park is being run with utmost brutality,” she said. “There is no jury, there’s no judge, there’s no questioning. And the terrifying thing is that there are plans to roll [out] the shoot at sight policy across [the] whole of India.”

The hard fact is that, currently, fewer rhinos are being killed by poachers than people being killed by guards. And it’s a fact both the Indian government and local communities are struggling with.

It’s a question of human rights versus environmental conservation, and how to proceed with protecting both at the same time. As Rowlatt concludes for BBC:

“Of course, there’s no arguing that endangered species must be protected and preserved, but the costs of the human community need to be taken into account too.”

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Racial wounds rip open under a president with a history of exploiting them

President Donald Trump has spent much of his adult life building his brand around racial divisions.

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

14 African Countries Who Still Pay Colonial Tax To France

80% of the 10 countries with the lowest literacy rates in the WORLD among adults are in francophone Africa. Namely: Benin (40%), Burkina Faso (26%),...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Racial wounds rip open under a president with a history of exploiting them

President Donald Trump has spent much of his adult life building his brand around racial divisions.

When Whistleblowers Tell the Truth They’re Traitors. When Government Lies It’s Politics

Immediately after Wikileaks released thousands of documents revealing the extent of CIA surveillance and hacking practices, the government was calling for an investigation —...

U.S. Towns and Cities Increasingly Cracking Down on Tiny Dwelling Homes

We all know how the cost of living is skyrocketing around the world. Particularly in some towns and cities of the United States, the...

‘Enough is enough’: Norway’s trade unions vote to boycott Israel over Palestine

Norway’s largest trade union body has voted in favor of economic, cultural, and academic boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. In response, Tel...

Actor Robin Williams found dead

Beloved actor Robin Williams found dead at 63 in apparent suicide Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead in an apparent suicide at...

Nestle, The Californian Drought, And Why Buying Bottled Water Is The Dumbest Thing You Can Do For The Planet

Think Nestle's CEO is wrong when he claims water isn't a basic human right? Fighting back against this crazy notion is easier than you...

What We Know About The Suspects In The Charlie Hebdo Attack

Details began to emerge Wednesday about the three men suspected of the brutal attack on the Paris offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which...

Stoned drivers are a lot safer than drunk ones, new federal data show

A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that drivers who use marijuana are at a significantly lower risk for a...