BAJURA: Poaching of rare endangered animals has increased with the beginning of snowfall in higher altitude areas of Bajura district.

The endangered wildlife inhabiting the areas in Martadi, Dahakot, Manakot, Toli, Kailashmandau, Kanda, Rugin, Chhatara, Dogadi are being poached.

Local Dhanamal BK of Himali Rural Municipality-2 said locals use guns, spike, Khukuri (traditional knife), among other weapons, to hunt the wildlife.

A local said, wildlife including varieties of pheasants, wild boar, deer, Himalayan goral, tiger, bear migrate from higher altitude to low land during the snowfall. According to him, poachers in group often spend even two weeks in the forest during a hunt. Some locals also use dogs to hunt deer, it has been reported.

Wild animals inhabiting the area near Badimalika, Budhinanda and Khaptad National Park located in the higher altitude, are found migrating to the forest area of Kanda, Jayabageshwori, Bahrabis, Kailashmandau, Rugin, Bichchhyan, Dahakot, Chatara and Martadi. The poachers take this opportunity to hunt the animals down.

A hotelier in Martadi, the district headquarters, said, "It is very common to see the poachers openly selling meat of the poached animals in villages.

Lophophorus, commonly known as Danphe or Himalayan monal, are sold at Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 each.

Likewise, a pheasant is sold at the price of over Rs 1,000. Likewise, the meat of wild boar and Himalayan goral is sold at Rs 500 per kilogramme while musk deer at Rs 1,000 per kg, a poacher who was selling meat in Martadi informed. He said sale of meat of wild animals was increasing and that their demand was high during winters. He added that contractors, office staffers, businesspersons were the main customers to buy the meat. On the other hand, the hide of tiger and bear, and gallbladder, are smuggled to Tibet or India.

National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 2029 BS (1973 AD) provisions five to 15 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000 for those found involved in hunting of protected wild animals.