Home » Superstitions Concerning Wild Animals: A Mythbuster

Superstitions Concerning Wild Animals: A Mythbuster

by rajesh

Superstitions and folklore have deep roots in Indian culture, shaping people’s beliefs and practices from childhood. While some superstitions are relatively harmless, others pose a serious threat to wildlife. Wildlife SOS, an organization dedicated to protecting and rescuing animals in India, highlights how these beliefs endanger various species.

Bengal Tiger: Superstitions surrounding tiger body parts, such as claws and genitals, drive illegal wildlife trade, even though these magnificent creatures are protected by law.

Red Sand Boa: Beliefs about the “two-headed” appearance of this snake species lead to smuggling, primarily to meet demand in China and Nepal. Snake charming also contributes to the threat.

Cobra Snake: Cobras are both revered and feared, often falling victim to cruel practices by snake charmers. The false belief in their ability to drink milk exacerbates the problem.

Indian Star Tortoise: Considered lucky, these tortoises are poached for their unique shell pattern, sold in the exotic pet trade, and used in traditional medicine.

Golden Jackal: The “jackal horn,” derived from golden jackal skulls, is believed to protect against the evil eye. Jackal skins and tails are also in demand on illegal online markets.

Leopards: Myths about the mystical properties of leopard body parts, such as teeth and skin, drive illegal poaching.

Monitor Lizards: These reptiles suffer from poaching for their genitalia, called Hatha Jodi, used in superstitions and black market trade.

Indian Rock Pythons: Mistaken for venomous snakes, these pythons are frequently sold as pets and are at risk due to ignorance.

Indian Eagle Owl & Barn Owl: Owls face cruel fates due to beliefs in their magical properties, with their body parts used in talismans, black magic, and traditional medicines.

Striped Hyena: Vilified in folklore, hyenas are victims of conflict and superstition in India, facing threats like poisoning, hunting, and habitat destruction.

Pangolins: Beliefs in the therapeutic properties of pangolin scales drive their illegal trade, making them the world’s most trafficked species.

While some religious beliefs in India protect and safeguard wildlife, it is crucial to differentiate between positive practices and ritualistic massacres driven by superstition. Wildlife SOS works tirelessly to rescue and protect endangered species, raise awareness, and combat illegal wildlife trade fuelled by these harmful beliefs. Efforts to address and change these superstitions are essential to ensure the survival of India’s diverse wildlife.

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