Vikash Sharma

In the age where a lot of people are obsessed with taking pictures on mobile phones, especially with wild animals, such acts could now land you in trouble in Odisha.

Taking note of instances where people post photographs/ selfies with scheduled wild animals on social media, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and the Chief Wildlife Warden of Odisha stated that such act not only disturbs the normal life cycle of the animals, but it also violates the provisions of Section 9, Section 2 (16) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Under the Act, a person is liable for punishment with imprisonment up to 7 years. Apart from this, pictures and selfies with dead wild animals or wild animal body parts are also being posted on various social media platforms which is a violation under section 39 (I) (a), section 39 (2), and (3) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

In a letter to all Divisional Forest Officers, Deputy Director Similipal north/south (Wildlife), and Deputy Director of Nandankanan Zoo, the senior official has asked to raise awareness among people to refrain from any such activities. Moreover, everybody should abide by the laws and those keen to click pictures should take permission from forest officials.

“Helpline numbers may be displayed at prominent places and on social media to facilitate sharing of information from persons wanting to help the cause of wildlife. But unscrupulous elements trying to gain fame by violating the laws should be taken to task and you need to make them more famous by arresting and forwarding them to the court of law,” the letter read.

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