Indian State Allows the Shooting of Hunters to Protect Wild Animals

July 13, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. poacher (n.) 
[poh-cher] – someone who hunts animals illegally
Example: Animal poachers hunt tigers at night so that they will not be seen by guards.

2. red-handed (adv.) [red-han-did] – in the middle of doing a crime or a bad action, with easily seen evidence
Example: The police caught the criminal red-handed as he tried to steal the rare animal from the zoo.

3. alleged (adj.) [uh-lejd, uh-lej-id] – describes something that has not been proven true yet
Example: Authorities received reports about alleged poachers hiding in the village.

4. endangered (adj.) [en-deyn-jerd] – refers to a species whose population is too small and may soon die out
Example: The government banned the hunting of endangered animals such as tigers, elephants and gorillas.

5. reserve (n.) [ree-surv– an area of land used for conserving and protecting endangered animals and plants
Example: Forest guards patrol wildlife reserves to prevent poachers from killing animals in these places.

Read the text below.
Animal poachers will be shot when caught red-handed, according to a new rule in the state of Maharashtra in western India.

Patangrao Kadam, Forest Minister in Maharashtra, says forest guards will no longer be punished for injuring or killing suspected animal hunters.

In addition, the government in Maharashtra has reserved a fund of 5 million rupees ($90,000), to be used to reward people who can give information about alleged poachers.

Divyabhanusinh Chavda, head of the World Wildlife Fund in India and a member of National Wildlife Board, comments that this new rule will discourage poachers. Assam, a state located in northeast India, has a similar law that has helped rescue the endangered population of one-horned rhinos.

S.W.H. Naqvi, Maharashtra’s chief wildlife warden, reports that forest guards have difficulty catching poachers who act at night. He believes the money reward for information will be even more effective in stopping poachers than allowing guards to shoot the criminals.

Meanwhile, the international community is also concerned about poachers in India. The country has been home to half of the world’s remaining 3,200 tigers, since wildlife reserves were built and hunting was banned in the 1970s.

However, 14 tigers were already killed by poachers this year. Eight of these killings occurred in Maharashtra.

Tiger parts are in high demand in the black market because of people who use the animal’s parts for traditional Chinese medicines.

A study published in Biological Conservation journal last April says 114 species of mammals are being hunted in India.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the Indian government’s decision to allow poachers to be shot? Why or why not?
·         Do you think protecting nature is more important than protecting human life? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why is it important to take care of endangered animals?
                   How can people better protect such endangered animals?


July 13, 2012