At one stage India was rich in wildlife and hundreds and thousands of elephants including lions and tigers roamed the vast expanse of the subcontinent. Over the years indiscriminate poaching and hunting and contact with expanding human settlements had an effect and wildlife began to dwindle. Perforce the government had to bring in the Wildlife Protection Act which mandated strict punishments for killing any protected species of animals.

Hunting as a sport which was made famous by the big game hunters like Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson is now history, as hunting is banned.

Top Indian film star salman khan who charges an exorbitant amount for each film learned about this the wrong way. He is alleged to have shot two Black Bucks in the desert land of Rajasthan close to Jodhpur. In a trial spanning 19 years, Salman has been found guilty and sentenced to 5 years in jail. Yahoo has reported that this was possible because of the anti-poaching lobby who helped nail the Khan.Though he has been given bail his troubles are far from over and there is every chance that the High Court may confirm the sentence and that would be the end of Salman Khan.

Hunting in India

The only way you can hunt an animal in India is if an animal like the elephant is declared a rogue or a tiger or lion declared a maneater. In such cases, the district magistrate will notify through the Gazette of India and invite Shikaris to hunt these animals. Unlike in the United States where during certain seasons and in certain areas, you can go hunting., in India, this is not allowed at all.

The supreme court has even banned the killing of dogs with the result that the stray dog population in India must be about the highest in the world.

Punishments

Salman Khan is not the only man to have fallen foul of the wildlife act. The former India cricket captain the Nawab of Pataudi was also arrested and charged for killing a deer in Haryana but he was spared the ordeal of the trial and subsequent punishment as he passed away a few months back.

A brigadier of the Indian Army also faced charges for killing a nilgai (blue bull) in Khandwa region of Madhya Pradesh. The officer received a severe reprimand from the chief of Army staff for his act. He was lucky to get away with this punishment as he was subject to the army act.

Last word

Killing an animal in India is something that is totally taboo. The days when hunters displayed tiger and lion skin with stuffed heads as trophies are now consigned to the record and storybooks.India is now turning to the conservation of wildlife and it is showing results as the number of tigers and elephants, not forgetting lions are showing an upward trend.

One wishes that Salman Khan with all his popularity had not taken part in what is now not considered a manly sport at all

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