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Illegal wildlife domestication goes on unabated

Published : 08 Jul 2022 09:53 PM

Alongside the illegal wildlife trade and trafficking, many wild animals are also being domesticated at various resorts, parks and some other places in the country illegally. 

Many wild animals are on the endangered list. However, alongside the wildlife animals that are available in Bangladesh, many rare species of the wildlife are also being domesticated even in houses of many people. 

According to the Wildlife (Preservation and Security) Act, 2012, domestication of the preserved wild animals is banned and punitive offence.  Article 18A of the country’s constitution also states for the conservation and safety of forest, wildlife, endangered species and biodiversity. 

After enactment of the law in 2012, the Wildlife Crime Control Unit (WCCU) was introduced under the Forest Department in order to stop illegal wildlife trade and related crimes.   

Talking to the Bangladesh Post, A.S.M Jahir Uddin Akon, director of the WCCU, said that the WCCU and some other departments concerned of the government are working to uproot the wildlife related crimes. 

“Sometimes we get information that wild animals remain in private resorts, parks and other private recreation centers and houses of some people, then we take steps as per the law,” he added.  In the latest move by the WCCU, two barking 

deer, locally known as ‘Maya Horin’, were rescued from a resort in Gazipur last week. 

Nargis Sultana, wildlife inspector at WCCU, said that they rescued the barking deer from the Sarah Resort on July 4. She led the rescue operation, while Sadekul Islam, junior wildlife scout at WCCU, and Meer Bazlur Rahman of Sreepur range, were in the team of the rescue operation. 

According to the Wildlife (Preservation and Security) Act, barking deer is a preserved animal and its domestication is illegal. 

The Barking Deer (maya horin) is an uncommon mammal of Bangladesh. It is found in Sundarbans and other hilly forests in Bangladesh. 

Nargis Sultana said that the barking deer is one of the rare species on the endangered list. They rescued the two deer following the direction of A.S.M Jahir Uddin Akon as he provided necessary guidance during the rescue operation. 

Later, the barking deer were handed over to the authorities of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park. 

Meanwhile, the authorities of Sarah Resort said that they were not aware of the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, 2012. They gave an undertaking that no wildlife animal will be kept in the captivity of the resort in future.  

Salahuddin Abul Kalam of the Sarah Resort Limited gave the undertaking to the director of the WCCU. 

A.S.M Jahir Uddin Akon of WCCU warned that the drive against those who illegally capture and display wildlife animals in resorts, parks, people’s homes and other places will continue across the country.

WCCU officials said that they are continuing drive against illegal trade, trafficking and domestication of preserved wildlife and they already rescued a number of wild animals after commencement of the unit. Other units of Forest Department and other departments of the government also rescued the wildlife. 

Wildlife Management Nature and Conservation Department (WMNCD) rescued 14 wild animals of different species, including crocodile, monkey and wildcat from a private recreation centre in Bagerhat on March 12 this year. 

The wildlife animals were rescued from the Sundarbans Resort and Picnic Corner in Barakpur area of Bagerhat Sadar Upazila. Later, the rescued animals were released into nature at Karamjal in the Sundarbans. 

The WCCU in 2021 had rescued two pythons, five monkeys and a vulture from two mini parks in Chandpur Sadar Upazila. The animals were illegally kept for exhibition at Five Star Children’s Park in Ashikati union and Kritikunj Tia Park in Shahmahmudpur union.