Police arrest twelve after explosives kill jackal in Tamil Nadu, India

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Authorities on Monday arrested twelve people in Tamil Nadu, India after a jackal died trying to eat a bomb embedded in meat that subsequently exploded. Jackals are protected in India.

File photo of a jackal.
Image: Saumitra Newalkar.

Officials said a police constable, reportedly one Vijayaragavan, saw the twelve with the dead jackal in Trichy, decided to question them after they aroused suspicion at a tea stall, and learned they were responsible for the jackal's death. The forestry department arrested them. According to local news sources, the constable found the jackal's bagged carcass after inquiring.

The suspects range in age from 21 to 78 and were identified as Narikuravars from the village of Poolangudi. They were taken into the custody of the forestry department. Authorities said the killing occurred in Jeeyapuram forest in a bid to gain jackal meat and teeth.

The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 lists jackals as a protected species. India's jackals face attention from poachers, who sell the parts. One study in the Journal of Threatened Taxa from March noted authorities seized 126 skins, eight tails, 16 skulls and two live jackals from 2013 to 2019. The same study also noted over 370 "jackal horns" seized in the same period. Jackal horns are crafted from skulls of jackals and are considered talismans.

Last week, in the neighbouring state of Kerala, one suspect was arrested in connection with the death of a pregnant female elephant suffering from explosive injuries. Authorities said they believed a fruit filled with firecrackers had exploded in the elephant's mouth, damaging her jaw and ultimately leading to her death.