Hyena lynched; Forest dept to take action against villagers

Balipatna: The Forest department is all set to take action against the villagers who lynched a stray hyena on the outskirts of the village a week ago on December 27.

The department has decided to take action after it received the video footage of the gory and inhuman act.

According to reports, people of Ambadihi village under Balipatna Forest Range on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar noticed a striped hyena in the early morning hours on December 27. Seeing the crowd, the terrified hyena tried to hide inside a bush. But the villagers, instead of informing the Forest department, lynched the hapless animal with stumps and sticks.

Talking to OTV over phone, Range Officer of Balipatna Forest Range, Rabindra Mohapatra, said he received an anonymous phone call on December 27 that the people of Ambadihi village have lynched a hyena. “Following information, we rushed to the village and did not find anyone. Later, we found the carcass of the hyena lying near the funeral ground on the outskirts of the village. We have sent the carcass for post mortem and its report is awaited. The investigation is underway and an unnatural death (U/D) case has been registered. We have received some video clipping of this incident. As hyena is listed in Schedule-III of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, action would be taken against the villagers who have killed this animal,” Mohapatra added.

He said the hyena from the Bhanra forest had strayed into the village.

Talking to OTV, retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Bijay Ketan Patnaik, said the villagers, instead of killing the hyena, should have made efforts to let it go inside the forest. These wild species usually come to the forest periphery villages in search of goat, calf and fowl.

Asked about the incident, Suvendu Mallick, honorary warden, Khurda Forest Division said the villagers should not have killed the hyena.

“There have been a series of awareness campaigns in the media about conservation and protection of wild animals. Despite such campaigns, if people are indulged in such brutal acts, the Forest department will be forced to take action against them,” he pointed out.

Hyenas are widely regarded as scavengers who pick up leftovers at the kills of other carnivores or feeds on carrion. By doing so, they keep the environment clean.