Odisha’s Tribal Woman Laments Being Separated From Her ‘Pet’ Wild Boar

Keonjhar: Kuntala Kumari Penthei from Purushottampur village in the district is heartbroken because her child has been snatched from her. The child is her pet wild board ‘Dhuda’.

Kuntala lost her younger daughter to illness more than a year back. At the funeral, a calf came running to her. Kuntala saw this as a God sent and the Almighty’s wish of returning her daughter. She decided to shower maternal love on the young calf and brought her home.

She named it Dhuda and decided to nurture it as one of her own. But her joy was short-lived, as the forest department came searching for it and took away Dhuda from her custody to set it free in the jungle just seven days back.

“I had raised it from infancy. Who will not get hurt if somebody snatches away her child all of a sudden,” said a weeping Kuntala.

Kuntala’s elder daughter Rajashree Penthei was also distraught. “Dhuda was with us from the beginning. It does not know how and where to search for food. And it is particularly dangerous for its survival in the wildfire that has been raging in the jungles all across Odisha,” she said.

Wild boars (Sus Scrofa) are protected under Schedule III of the Wildlife Protection Act in Odisha and it is completely illegal to either kill or keep them as pets.

The forest officials have assured her that Dhuda will be taken care of and will be kept under observation.

“It is natural for her to get but her concerns about the boar’s welfare are unfounded. They are wild creatures and they know perfectly well how to survive in the jungle,” said Range Officer of TElkoi forest village, Pramod Kumar Sethi.

But Kuntala is inconsolable. “They have neither any empathy nor love for the boar,” she lamented accusing the forest officials of taking away her child.

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