Madikeri: The man may be Internet-savvy. He may not have intended to break the laws. He just went on an adventure trip with friends, spotted a wild rabbit, caught hold of it and clicked a photo with it in his mobile and posted it on the Facebook page. The only fault of his was that he had an airgun on his shoulder.
His eagerness to show off his rare achievement of having caught a rabbit and clicked its photo has cost him dear. Darshan from Bengaluru had come to visit his friends in Nadnalli near Somwarpet.
Joined by Rajesh, Naveen, Chandrashekhar, Guruprasad and Suresh, he went on a trekking mission to an adjacent hill. Having caught hold of a wild rabbit, he got a picture clicked with it and posted it on the Facebook page.
He may have received many clicks for the ‘darshan’ of a rare photograph. But the forest officials were not amused. Although he caught the rabbit the normal way of clutching it by its ears, the very act of touching it amounted to violation of wildlife laws of 1972. Like in many other states, killing or even hurting a wild animal is punishable by law in Karnataka. The forest officials are under shoot-at-sight orders if anyone is found poaching.
Higher officials took a serious view of the case and have instructed Pushpagiri wildlife DFO Chengappa to hold an inquiry into the matter. Since there is this photographic evidence that Darshan had hurt a wild animal, he may have to prove that he did not do anything beyond like killing it, since he had an airgun on his shoulder.
A team of forest personnel visited Nadnalli earlier this week and gathered information. They are on the lookout for Darshan and his friends.