Bardiya National Park, Nepal’s largest park in the plains, borders with Surkhet district notorious for illicit trade of wild animal parts – deer meat being one of the most frequently traded items.
|Chital (Spotted deer). Image by Mahesh Balasubramanian.CC BY 2.0|
However, think twice before eating the meat of a wild animal. I must have travelled via Babai to Surkhet more than 30 times. And most of the times, the shop-owners ask me to taste the delicacy of the day. But every time, my answer remains the same. A blunt “No”.
The poachers spray lumps of salt on grass patches frequented by deer. Then they spray Thyodene on the patches. After few days of exposure to the sun, the odour of the chemical normalises and when the deer come to the patches, they eat the salty grass. Due to the grass laced with poison, they die on the spot. The poachers then take away the carcasses and make dry meat. The meat is sold at an exorbitant price.
Himalayan langurs. Image by user Gautam. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
So, next time you are offered a plate of deer meat, say “No” and help save these beautiful species along with the innocent monkeys that get killed to replace deer meat.