The Indian forest department seems to have taken a page out of the Roman Legends where dogs and especially the ‘Cane Corso’ dog breed were successfully used to hunt lions. A problem tigress in Pandharkawda, a village in the Nagpur Taluka of India has led months of sleepless nights for forest department officials. The tigress has already killed over ten people.
After much deliberation, this elusive tigress is being tracked by a team of two Cane Corsos, which has sniffed the tigress’ urine. Apart from sharp shooters, golfer Jyoti Randhawa who is also a well known dog trainer will be leading both the dogs, in the hunt to track the tigress that has been smart enough to avoid baits. While we see how this hunt goes, let us learn a bit about the hunting heroes.
Donning the armours
Cane Corso is an ancient breed. This information is certain because they were first described by none other than Pliny, the elder, the famed Roman author and naturalist. It has been told that Alexander the Great was gifted these two large dogs, and like all animals during the Middle Ages, they were used for war! These dogs are known to have fought military campaigns, Romans also created a cadre of officers who would lead them in war. Later, these dogs went to other gruesome tasks with Spanish conquistadors who used them to hunt and kill as many native South Americans. The most recent of their use in war in Italian Turkish war in the early 1900s. When not at war, these dogs were employed for entertainment and circus where they were pitted against bears, tigers and lions.
Fortunately, the number of wars came down and soon landowners started rearing this breed to hunt big game. After fighting with armoured men, Corsos went to hunt wild boars. It is said that even pups, if trained well can, attack a boar!
The thinking dog!
Just because Corsos are known for their hunting skills, doesn’t mean that they can only hunt. They are intelligent dogs. It means they cannot sit idle. According to the Cane Corso Association of America, these hardworking dogs need a job, and those who cannot give them a task should not adopt one.
“This breed needs mental stimulation, in addition to regular training and exercise. Whether it is greeting customers at a store, herding animals on a farm or helping take care of your children daily, this breeds needs to do something,” the CCAA says. The CCAA is the official American Kennel Club’s (ACK) parent breed club.
Voices against the hunt
While the hunt in Nagpur has already begun, voices have come out condemning the move. Clearly narrating, the tigress is not a ‘man-eater’ and it is incorrect to call her so. Twitter has been abuzz with voices and sources tell us, some wildlife protection groups have also come forward to lodge a complaint with the ‘Ministry of Environment and Forests’ – the apex body in India to plead and ensure the dogs my be used to ‘capture’ and ‘not kill’ the tigress.
@CMOMaharashtra @Dev_Fadnavis @narendramodi @PMOIndia @rashtrapatibhvn This is a disgrace for you to treat your schedule 1 Tigers this way! Shame on you! @ImJyotiRandhawa to lead team of dogs in hunt for maneater T1 https://t.co/rKQUMhowu2 via @timesofindia #LetAvniLive #SaveAvni
— Jeanette Leinweber (@LilEarthwoman) October 9, 2018
@ImJyotiRandhawa Avni is not a man eater. Plz know her story before you take hunter dogs to search Avni, T1 tigress. https://t.co/dm0fiZ8gm5 don’t be part of an operation which is killing an innocent soul. Trespassing of humans in tiger habitat shod stop. @letavnilive @PMOIndia
— Suman Virwani (@Sumanvirwani) October 9, 2018
— Madhura Mandal (@MandalMadhura) October 9, 2018
— Sanjay (@mojosanjay) October 9, 2018
— Neetu Jindal (@neetuj) October 9, 2018
— Annu Singh Kundu (@annu_yo1) October 9, 2018
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