A case of mistaken identity leads to tragedy
Villagers in Nadia, India mistakenly hacked to death an endangered fishing cat they mistook for a leopard Tuesday night.
Times of India describes the event
The animal had entered Shutia village in Nadia on Tuesday night. A villager, taking it for a leopard, raised the alarm around 9pm.
Soon, villagers armed with bamboo sticks and spears ran after the terrified animal, which didn’t prove difficult to corner. They beat it up and kept stabbing it with their spears till died.
Fewer than 10,000 of these cats remain in the world, and in just the past few months there have been at least three accounts of fishing cats being killed. Once found across India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Southeast Asia, Nepal and Pakistan, they are now only occasionally spotted.
“The fishing cat is an extremely rare species of animal and has been enlisted in Schedule I of the endangered animals’ index,” said J P Guharoy, the Krishnagar range officer. “It’s unbelievable that the villagers killed an animal like that. We have sent the carcass for post-mortem,” he added in the Times of India article.
Wildlife officials are searching for a rumored second fishing cat in the area. Read the full article here.