Questions/speculations continue From entrails to body now

The questions continue and so do too the speculations. The attacks too continue with the latest report coming in from Tekcham in Thoubal district that three piglets were found killed. Interestingly in a departure from the earlier cases, this time the body of one of the piglets was found half eaten somewhat painting a different script from the earlier cases where only the entrails were found to have been eaten. Reports of some people having seen the animal or predator are also doing the round and in this age of instant information youngsters from Manipur who are studying far away from home seem to have received the information earlier than many staying at Imphal-thanks to social media such as Whatsapp. So far, fortunately there is no report of the predator attacking humans, or even attempting to attack but this should not lull the authority into a sense of complacency. At the same time, it is also important for the people as a whole to remain vigilant and not go overboard in the face of the numerous speculations doing the round in different media. It is amidst this uncertainty that Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar announced that wildlife forensic experts from the Wildlife Institute of India will be arriving to investigate the cases. At the moment, reports have come in that two have already arrived and it is only right that the needed co-operation is extended to the experts from the WII. The journey of the predator/s is also interesting-Churachandpur, Imphal East, Kangpokpi and now Thoubal. Will it strike at the more densely populated areas of the State like Imphal is the interesting question.
As Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar has already spelt out, the predator first attack the neck of the prey and then devours the entrails. The only exception is the case of the cow at Kangpokpi which was found killed with its horns ripped off and the Tekcham case where one of the three piglets was found half eaten. The question is, are the attacker/s known to have come back to any of the places where it earlier killed its prey or do they move on to newer territories ? Is it a case of the same predator moving great distance and attacking its prey or are there more than one or two carrying out the attacks ? This is a question which the wildlife experts should try to study and inform the public. For instance three piglets at Tekcham have been killed, now will the attacker move on or return for further kills ? Is there any lead on the movement patterns of the predator ? Other than trying to pin point the identity of the predator, what steps should be taken up to protect the domestic livestock ? What would be the best tactics or method to keep the predator away from entering the place where the livestocks are kept ? What scares them ? Would it scare or dissuade them from entering a well lit area ? These are all questions at the moment, but an in depth study is needed to keep them at bay and these are steps the Government should try to take up in collaboration with the numerous local clubs in every locality.

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