Pune Forest Department Takes Swift Action Against Wildlife Feeders

Pune Forest Department Takes Swift Action Against Wildlife Feeders

Pune Forest Department Takes Swift Action Against Wildlife Feeders

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The forest department swiftly identified and took action against individuals involved in 7-8 cases.

16 May 2024

By Payoshi Bisht

In a bid to protect the natural habitats and behaviours of wild animals, the Pune division of the forest department has initiated stern actions against individuals caught feeding wild birds and animals, particularly those showcasing such activities on social media platforms.

The residents of Warje and Kothrud were found to be among the people who interacted with the wildlife. Upon interrogation, it was revealed that these individuals were unaware of the regulations governing such actions. Last Tuesday, the forest department issued notices to the offenders, emphasising the importance of refraining from interacting with wild animals, including petting or feeding them, and abstaining from posting related content on social media platforms.

Deepak Pawar, assistant conservator of forest, Pune stated that, “When humans feed wild animals, it can lead to dependency on humans for food. This then results in these animals not being able to find food in the wild easily. We have taken a firm stand against clicking pictures as it is unlawful and can encourage others to engage in similar activities.”

Under Section 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, petting, feeding and repeated interactions with wild animals are considered criminal offences. The prohibited actions extend to daily feeding of various bird species like parrots and mynas, as well as capturing photographs and videos of snakes and pythons, and engaging in activities that depict bravery or intimacy with these animals.

A wildlife warden, explained the legal framework surrounding wildlife protection, stating, “Feeding wildlife is governed by various laws aimed at protecting wildlife from human disruptions and ensuring their conservation under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Section 11 of the act prohibits actions like beating and capturing wildlife without a permit from the appropriate authority.”