A 25-year-old Karnataka man was arrested on Sunday after Forest Department officials took note of a viral video of him killing a porcupine which was posted on his TikTok account.
The accused has been identified as one Manjunath Biryalhissa, a native of Jewargi taluk in Karnatakaâ€™s north west Kalaburagi district. According to The Times of India, Manunath was popular for his social media avatar especially on TikTok and was known for lifting heavy stones.
TOI reported that forest officials have found out that Manjunath along with his friends had caught the porcupine on Friday from Sindagi range in Vijayapura district area and killed it by hitting stones. They had also skinned the animal and cooked it. He narrated about his hunt and the cooking in an 18-second Tik Tok video. The same was posted on Facebook too which caught the attention of wildlife activists who in turn informed the Forest department top brass.
Forest officials said that the porcupine is a protected animal under Schedule 4 of the Wildlife Protection Act. His social media details gave away his location and that made it possible for his arrest, TOI quoted them as saying.
The Hindu reported that the other three accusedâ€” Bagappa, 23, Bhimappa, 19, and Nagesh, 20â€” natives of Sindagi and Manjunathâ€™s friends, are all absconding.
Vanathi MM, District Conservator of Forests, Kalaburagi said that they will hand over Manjuanth to the Vijayapura officials and have already registered a complaint, according to The Hindu.
This incident comes after in February, a man in HD Kote taluk in Mysuru district in the state, was found guilty of owning a tiger skin by a Gundlupet court and sent to three years in jail.
According to officials, the convict Syed Aslam, along with others, had killed a tiger using a gun in Antharasanthe range of the Bandipur forest. While Aslam was nabbed by Forest officials, his accomplices had managed to escape.