Orang National Park will miss Babli’s reassuring presence

Babli, a member of the elite anti-poaching K9 dog squad who had helped forest authorities on Orang track poachers, passed away on June 15.

Babli, who had been stationed in Orang National Park in Assam since August 11, 2018, was a prized frontline staff of Aaranyak. During her association with the K9 Dog Squad of Aaranyak since 2014, she was instrumental in augmenting anti-poaching measures in Orang National Park and Tiger Reserve which boasts of a treasure trove of one-horned rhinos.

“We, all in the Aaranyak family, are deeply saddened by the loss of Babli, a well-trained member of our elite K9 unit, stationed at Orang National Park to support its anti-poaching efforts. She breathed her last this morning around 8.40 am due to illness,” said the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aaranyak, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar.

The contribution of Babli towards complementing the government agencies’ efforts for overall wildlife crime mitigation in and around Orang National Park will always be cherished. he added.

“She was brought to join Aaranyak’s K9 unit in 2014. During her last hours, our K9 team was with her, along with the CEO, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar,” said an Aaranyak official.

Prevention or checking of poaching, which is difficult to achieve, holds the key to the success of wildlife conservation efforts. It has been globally experienced that exemplary punishment to poachers/perpetrators of crime could be a deterrent to poaching.

However, to convince the court of law to hand out exemplary punishment to accused poachers under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act in vogue is a tough task as the court demands very convincing evidence.

To facilitate a tough judgement from the court of law against accused poachers, the investigating agencies need to collect concrete evidence that can convince the court of the wider/global ramifications of an incident of poaching of wildlife species.

In case of poaching and other wildlife crimes, evidence collection needs to be very scientific, systematic and prompt (especially in case of poaching). For the perennially understaffed government wildlife protection agencies, which sometimes lack well-equipped experts to carry out a scientific investigation to gather concrete evidence, handling poaching incidents often becomes a difficult proposition.

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