Walking in dry streambed, pebbles
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
31 Mar 2001
- Royal Bardia National Park
- 28.38333 81.5
Stereo=1; Spaced Omni Stereo; DPA 4060 Omnidirectional Microphones
Log of DAT #:14
Date: March 31, 2001
Stream bed ¿ at the ambush point¿.
00:34 ¿ 1:37 walking on a pebbly surface ¿ the side of the stream bed?
1:37 ¿ 3:41 more walking¿¿but solo? (maybe just Bill?) ¿then with others¿¿
Jhamak Bahadur Karki,
3:41 MK (Major Karki) - the main ambush is there ¿ they are covering the ¿see the ¿ what is that?? They are talking some other approach ¿ they are going this approach now. We have a ¿ where we parked our car ¿ 4 kilometers down, we have a village there, that I was mentioning before ¿ a number of poachers living in their villages, use this wadi ¿. ??¿to go to the ??? so, these people are here for the last few days, and today, most probably through night, they will go, leave the site and go, and so far they haven't found anything ¿ and if you would like to walk further and see the people there and hear the animal ¿ see? 4:55 (this is all very unclear)
4:56 some talk in Hindi
5:13 MK - we have there sombers (?) and monkeys and spotted deer. So they found either they know we are here or bc of tiger or leopard ¿ when they feel they are in danger then they give this sound. So, all wadis going to the ?? valley are covered by different patrols, and one is this. And this is the main route they use and that ¿ 38 poachers that we arrested last year. 9 were from this route
6:01 JN ¿ what did they have with them?
6:02 MK ¿ rhino horn (JN ¿ rhino horn), and ivory and dry meats (JN ¿ dry meat), and skin ¿ one which ¿ snow leopard, which is again protected animal. And this is the place ¿ you know the tree that these patrols recovered some guns like that.
6:38 JN ¿ tell me, in the tree? Where did they find them?
MK ¿ in the tree ¿ hollow tree ¿ they recovered some guns, that was 2-3 4 months back. 2 guns.
7:01 PB ¿ how many men are on this outpost?
7:08 MK ¿ 5 of them
7:18 JN ¿ we have been walking about 15 or 20 mins up a dry wash, on the outskirts of the edge of Royal Bardia Natl Park, and this is one of the washes that leads up to the center of the park, to a place called the Babai Valley ¿ which is very important to you?
7:37 MK ¿ yeah, it is very important.
JN ¿ why is that?
7:39 MK ¿ we have a rhino there ¿ rhino, elephant and tigers. And that valley is beautiful with a lot of water and good grassland. So these people are making their way to reach that place for poaching. 8:01
8:02 ¿ 8:08 ambi in the area
8:09 JN ¿ just if you could briefly describe to me ¿
PB ¿ it would be kind of nice to do the interview closer to where the animals are making the sounds
8:30 ¿ walking
8:56 JN ¿ we have been walking about 15 mins up a dry wash on the outskirts of the Royal Bardia Natl Park, with the head of the anti-poaching unit form the Nepalese army we are headed to an ambush point, where a small portion of the army, about 5 guys, is waiting for poachers that are coming out of a place called the Babai Valley, which is in the center of the park and it is where the rhinos are. At this time of year, poaching is heaviest, bc there are religious festivals that require sacrifices, and this is when most of the poachers get caught.9:33
9:34 ¿ 11:03 walking
11:04 ¿ 12:04 strange animals sounds in the distance¿.
12:05 some talking in Hindi
12:26 PB - what is that?
MK ¿ a LUNGUR
JN ¿ I see 2 camouflaged soldiers with their riffles behind the trees. How many are there? How many are on the stake out?
12:50 MK ¿ 5 ¿ 2 here and 3 down there.
JN ¿ did someone inform you that this was going to happen or is this a likely place/
13:07 MK ¿ no, we have information 3 ¿ 4 days back that people have entered park, actually we have one patrol that is just following them ¿ a source¿? Small saddle patrol is there - ¿(hard to understand)¿..we hope to catch them here
13:56 JN ¿ the army has really helped bring poaching down in this park or at least the overall anti-poaching effort
14:07 MK ¿ yes, I think satisfactory.
JN ¿ it is not as bad as it was
MK ¿ we need to do this continuously
PB ¿ can you give us a sense of numbers¿how many animals have been poached¿.some of what we were talking about this morning
14:37 MK ¿ actually the last 5 yrs there have been 3 tigers poached, but none of the case was of shooting. One was trapped and 2 were poisoned??? and last 5 years I don't remember exactly, but almost 19 rhinos where killed ¿ all were shooting. Last 5 years. That case of ???? I am not sure it was poison or natural death. Have to find out. 15:27
JN ¿ tell me one more time ¿ your recent arrest was the man who did all the work. Who was that again?
15:40 MK ¿ his name is Non Degrue ? ¿ he is in jail < and what was it that he?> He killed ¿ he poached 7 rhinos and one tiger that he told us. During that ?? period. Maybe that number could be more high.
JN - You were telling me that he was actually the person people went to learn how to poach.
16:08 MK ¿ yeah. He was the mastermind
JN - But the local people aren't the ones who make the money ¿ not even him
16:21 MK - Ok, local people who are actually involved in poaching are making small money. And the things that are out of the park goes to the people involved in trade, so you know the price is first hand price, second hand and finally the international price. So here people who are involved in poaching get small money ¿ and trade man ¿ illegal trade man making good money out of that. And the money, the more it goes up, the price rise.
17:05 JN ¿ do you know ¿ where these things go?
MK - It depends where is the stops goes to the north which is Tibet, China.
JN ¿ what goes where/
17:16 MK - Tiger bones ¿ tiger, leopard bones and skin. And something is going down that is like ¿ deer mask ? musks ? and harps ? horns? from the north. And even these rhino horns they go straight abroad ¿ overseas. 17:55
JN ¿ you believe that right now is the most critical time to control poaching, bc you are hoping that it is a transition period ¿ I mean, you could have a Terai Arc project work wonderfully ¿ reconstruct forest corridors, but if poaching remains uncontrolled it is not going to do any good in terms of having animals to walk back and forth through. So now is the time to really hold the fort.
18:37 MK ¿ true. We need to do simultaneously that project ¿ I mean many things are involved by that project and one is ?? the parks. ????
19:01 JN ¿ did you lets say 5 yrs ago, even think about this issue? You weren't here ¿ you were in the military
19:19 MK ¿ no, I didn't know much about this, but when I came when I was transferred here, and when I studied the problem, the issue, it was serious, it was the second threat ¿ the first everyone called Chitwan, and the second was this. And as far as poaching is concerned we can hear people talking that this park is the last ¿ of no threat ? and this ? in the future ¿ but that will be good.
JN ¿ so, some of the things that you have done over the last five years ¿ the army has done, the anti-poaching effort has done, the park is much more tightly controlled ¿ there is more of a presence in the military and the park service on the anti-poaching ¿ yeah?
MK ¿ yeah.
JN ¿ more operations like this?
MK ¿ yeah.
JN ¿ you have informants and things like that?
MK ¿ true.
20:40 Mk ¿ and there are 4, 5 pockets in the Terai that are existing, as a protected areas. If the poaching is well controlled in those areas, those protected areas, and this ¿ and that will help the Terai project ¿ the good impact will be there in the corridor. If there is no poaching here, there is no poaching in Sida??, in Chitwan, and definitely that will help the project.
21:15 JN ¿ just tell me this again. Sometime you have poachers ¿ what ¿ they you catch them, they sign a piece of paper saying they are never going to poach again
MK ¿ true.
JN ¿ do they stop?
21:29 MK ¿ yeah, many are sincere. There is few that don't really mean it
JN ¿ what is the worst case of a poacher that wouldn't stop
21:56 MK ¿ when such things happen, again and again, we believe that they are meant to be ¿ arrested and go to the jail. Few people would really do not realize, are not convinced. We need to put a lot of efforts to make them understand ???
JN ¿ that guy was what ¿ blind in one eye ¿
Bill ¿ what happened with him?
22:46 MK ¿ actually, this park, before I come, his name was there. In that record ¿ in the record ¿ since 12 years back. And then finally we arrested him. And he had already poached many animals; many important large animals, mammals. When first we arrested him he was already badly injured by rhino and we made him sign the paper, and he was convinced, he said ok, I am a rich man, I have all my daughter teaching and son in police force, and some in good post in office, so I am good father, so I realize now. I am convinced and I am giving up. But he was again arrested. He was poaching tigers, and it was when he was approaching tigers, thinking that it was dead, was attacked, and his left eye was taken out by that injured tiger. 24:26 and we hope now that he will not repeat that - he is old too.
PB ¿ what was his rhino injury?
24:53 MK ¿ talk in Hindi¿then: it was a penis, it was teared (torn), and that it not working ¿ he told us, that is not working
25:08 PB ¿ the image we have from Africa ¿ they are very ruthless, use a lot of weapons, kill under police officers and military people.
MK - That is not the case here. Here we have small individual. The 4 or 5 people , that is the ideal number. We have found single poachers inside the park. Single. And these are also rude (?) ¿ they don't care about their life, their own family's life ¿ and there are cases that they found 2 groups fighting each other. But you know like in India and Africa, we do not have the big group involved. The institution or the big group involved in poaching. Just single ¿ and there are high numbers ¿ the poor are their helpers ¿ some carrying rice, some carrying vegetables ¿ some of them carrying the guns, but the leader is one. One individual. 26:34
PB ¿ could you describe how your informants work?
26:41 MK ¿ well, we have 15 posts all around the park ¿ in and around the park, so the nearest post as soon as they know they have information that the group is in, or disappeared, then they come to that post and give information. That they group, so and so, has disappeared. ?? and I believe they have gone to the park for this purpose, though that is how they do the informants. And based on that information we carry out ??
PB - and what benefit does the informant receive? Is he paid? Why is good for them to inform?
27:35 MK - They are paid. Two things. It depends how good they are ¿ in the beginning they are on trial. They are working for one month 2 months, 3 months. And if , depending on their integrity, hard work and knowledge they can be policed. And we have 4, 5 yrs old informants. And if the information works, if they make us arrest ???/ (very hard to understand) with a lot of wildlife stuff ?? like rhino horn, they get 600, 800, 1000, US dollars, as a prize. So, otherwise they are getting small money they are getting 1000 rupies every month as their pay. And when they are not working we are not happy¿their work is postponed, we call you later, bye bye. 28:55
PB ¿ repeat story from this morning. One group that was deep inside the park, and was prepared to stay for a long time.
29:10 MK ¿ well, some poachers are determined, and to ¿ they hardly care about their families and ¿ other business. So we do not have such group, many, but some group are making small beautiful hut ¿ and they are living there for month. And such cases are difficult .. ???? whenever we find such hut then we destroy. Also we leave sheet ¿ paper saying pls do not come this is something bad. The risk is high, and sometime we do that. We do not destroy the hut we sight them and wait for them to come, so it is easy for us to ??
PB ¿ what is the penalty for poaching?
30:31 MK ¿ it depends if it is protected animal. Then penalty is 15 yrs jail, which is very very hard. A good penalty¿.tiger, rhino, elephant, all protected animals that has the govt has defined. 30:59
PB ¿ and a small offense ¿ for a deer or something?
MK ¿ I don't know exactly that but a small penalty like 500, 1000, 2000, and again, make a paper ? and leave them off.
31:31 ambi in the area¿if they did come would they be walking on the stream bed? Have any offiers been fired upon by a poacher?
32:19 MK ¿ this year we have 2 cases, but they were not hard, just one ¿ the riffle butt ¿ small¿..piece of wood was out ¿ thank god he survived. And we have one more case - ??
PB ¿ and have you guys ever shot poachers?
33:00 MK ¿ this year. Yeah. We had 3 people died.
PB ¿ 3 poachers were killed?
MK ¿ yeah. This year. Last 13 months.
33:19 ambi in the area
33:29 MK ¿ but there are no case of encounters in the last 5, 6 months and we hope this will remain. Just like this. Peaceful park.
33:44 ¿ 35:21 ambi in area ¿ nice birds.
36:24 MK ¿ (talking about one of the people in the anti poaching regime wants to always go out and watch ¿ set up a tent ¿ he is brave.)
off mic ¿ he uses a Belgium weapon ¿ a semi-automatic
38:00 ambi ¿ with some talking in bg NG
39:14 ¿ 41:00 walking NG
41:00 ¿ 43:33 inside museum¿..not usable¿¿ END OF DAT