Dogged by an uncanny problemForest office in Mugu detained a dog along with alleged poachers. Court freed the accused but didn’t say a word on the canine. Officials now wonder what to do with the dog.
Officials at the Division Forest Office in Mugu have been dogged by an uncanny problem—caused by a dog.
On March 28, the Division Forest Office arrested four persons for their alleged involvement in poaching. They were accompanied by a hunting dog, which was also detained along with them.
The Division Forest Office prosecuted the four persons—Chyampa Tamang, Dawa Choden Tamang, Tashi Tamang and Chimek Tamang of Mugum Karmarong—on charges of poaching.
On May 26, Mugu District Court decided to release Chyampa and his son Dawa on a bail amount of Rs 70,000 each while Tashi and Chimek were released on a general date.
There was no order issued for the dog as it was not named as a defendant.
Forest officials are now up a gum tree and perplexed about what to do with the furry animal which has been in their custody for the last two and a half months.
Since the forest office had only filed a case against four alleged poachers, the court did not decide on the dog, according to court officials.
Bidhya Raj Budha, an information officer at Mugu District Court, said the word ‘dog’ was not mentioned in the registered poaching case.
“So, how can the court decide?” said Budha.
Dawa Chorden in his statement before the court had said that he saw a ghoral (Himalayan goral, goat-antelope) grazing while on his way to the nearby water mill. He turned around and went home to fetch his hunting dog to kill the squirrel.
The incident was reported to the police after some villagers saw him with the dead ghoral.
Police immediately arrested the four people along with the dog and confiscated the ghoral and handed it to the Division Forest Office.
According to Division Forest Officer Gagan Mahatara, it was not decided whether to release the dog or kill it as there was no order from the court.
Mahatara said the forest office is facing a difficulty in taking care of the dog.
“The office has already spent Rs25,000 on feeding the dog,” said Mahatara. “The office allocates a budget for cattle but not for dogs. We have been using the same fund to feed the dog.”
According to the Division Forest Office, the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act provisions the killing of hunting dogs after taking orders from appropriate authorities. But the office has not been able to make a decision on the dog that they detained about two and a half months ago.
Forest officials are not in favour of leaving the dog unattended, as they fear it could harm wildlife.
“This is a hunting dog,” said Mahatara. “If we release it, it can kill wild animals.”