A video clip of endangered pythons being slaughtered for its meat at a tribal hamlet in north Tripura district has gone viral on social media, prompting the forest department to order a probe into the incident. According to a forest official, "endangered pythons were being skinned and chopped into pieces for sale" at Simlung market in the district, along Tripura-Mizoram border.
"The department has received photographs and come across video clips of the illegal slaughtering, following which the probe was ordered," he added. Chief Wildlife Warden DK Sharma said a team of forest officials has been asked to file a report on the matter at the earliest.
"We are aware that a group of tribal people near Tripura-Mizoram border has been slaughtering wild animals, including snakes, for meat. We are trying to identify the people involved in the trade from the photographs that we have received," he stated.
Animal rights organization Pawsome, which had earlier busted dog-smuggling rackets, said the illegal practice was harming the ecosystem.
"This is an age-old practice among a section of tribal people. This illegal practice is destroying the forest ecosystem. We will launch an awareness campaign against the practice and submit a memorandum to the forest department, seeking stringent action against the offenders," Rigved Datta, the general secretary of Pawsome, said.