Wildlife & Biodiversity

India's killer wire snares

New analysis reveals the damage done to wildlife by poachers' wire snares over the past one decade 

Published: Wednesday 22 May 2019

22 tigers and 109 leopards choked to death in India due to wire snares between 2010 and 2018. Wildlife Protection Society of India has recorded these numbers. The death of a young tigress on April 13, 2019 in Maharashtra Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve brought the issue to the fore. In Maharashtra alone, 14 leopards and 3 tigers died due to wire snares. Another 4 leopards and 1 tiger were injured in the last 10 years. The highest number of big cats — 26 leopard and 3 tigers — died in Uttarakhand. At least 13 leopards were injured. 5 tigers were killed and 1 injured by wire snares in Madhya Pradesh, the highest in a state in the last decade. The number of animal deaths may be much higher. However, killer wire snares only become news when a tiger or leopard dies.However, the forest department has got no figures of deaths of other wild animals due to wire snares.   

Wire snares are used by poachers to catch herbivores like hare, deer, pig, etc but they also trap big animals like tiger and leopards. Poachers generally use clutch and brake wires of bikes to snare animals; They fix it on paths regularly trodden by them. 

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