Trichy: Four detainees to hunt animals, uploading videos to YouTube

TRICHY: Amid a growing chorus of outrage over authorities' failure to protect endangered animals from poachers, four people were arrested from the Ariyalur district accused of hunting wild animals, plotting the action before loading it on a video exchange platform for monetary gains on Friday.

Two motorcycles, a video camera, a computer, four mobile phones, a nylon net for trapping and a bird cage were also recovered from those arrested, the intellectual author of whom has been earning 1.5 lakh a month to through views and shares of his poaching videos. in Youtube.

Those arrested were identified as K Annadurai, the key defendant and his accomplices M Karthick, N Alexpandian and R Subramanian, all from Nachiyarpettai in the Ariyalur district. Annadurai was picked up by a team of forest personnel led by the Ariyalur district forestry officer, T Elangovan, on Friday at 30 a.m. Later, the remaining three were arrested after an investigation with Annadurai.

Sources said Annadurai started a YouTube channel last year on behalf of Village Hunters and shared poaching videos that became a source of income for him. During the last year, he has made several videos hunting wild animals such as civet, monitor lizard, Indian hare and pigeon in the Managathi (RF) reserve forest in the district, all considered endangered according to the Wildlife Protection Law of 1972.

He videotaped all the actions, from setting a trap, capturing the animal, cooking and eating it with the help of his accomplices live and uploaded them to his channel. Annadurai, who runs a photo studio in Chennai, instantly became a favorite among YouTube social networks after sharing videos of cooking and eating wild meat.

He returned to his village last year and decided to make videos of poaching from his village located near the forest. With his experience in handling video cameras, he hired locals from his town to act on the video.

According to the Ariyalur district forestry officer, T Elangovan, Annadurai earned about 1.5 lakh per month of advertising revenue from his YouTube page. A case has been reserved under sections 2, 8, 9, 39 and 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 for hunting animals with traps, taking body parts of wild animals with weapons and traps.

The chief forest conservator (CCF), Trichy circle V Thirunavukkarasu said they would investigate Annadurai's social media funds and have plans to contact YouTube after taking custody of Annadurai.

“We need to investigate if YouTube was aware of the content uploaded by Annadurai and if it was promoted through its platform. This seems to have been going on for almost a year. It seems that many of the videos he had uploaded to evade the action have been removed, they also tried to delete his account. We will also recover all the videos, ”he said.