Cat in the net
The fishing cat is threatened by habitat destruction in Howrah
Ia two-hour drive from Kolkata to reach our study site, a place in Howrah dotted with cultivated marshy reed beds, rice fields and ponds. In the evenings, one can hear a peculiar sound— barks of a dog embedded in a cat’s tone. This is the sound of the fishing cat ( Prionailurus viverrinus), an animal as big as a domestic dog with stripes and blotches streaking its grizzled grey coat. Known locally as baghrol or gobagha, it visits the area to catch fish in the ponds and is an integral part of the social ecosystem.
On June 5 this year,while the world was celebrating World Environment Day, a different kind of celebration was taking place in Howrah. Five residents in Hafijgunj village in Munsirhat tehsil hunted five fishing cats.However,the men committed an error: they got themselves photographed.
On June 10, a photograph of one of the poachers about to behead a fishing cat was posted on a social networking site and went viral across the world. It caused an outrage which, in turn, gave birth to a global petition where more than 5,000 people from 49 countries urged the chief wildlife warden of the West Bengal forest department to bring