Ukhiya Guest Bird Hunting Festival
Various species of birds, including bucks, are also being hunted to trap the traditional ‘Mas Hayjja’ fish in Ukhiya. These birds are being sold openly in the local market. Although birds are hunted freely every day, the number of poachers in the area is increasing day by day as the local administration has not taken any action against the poachers. The white buck is trapped by the hunter. As a result, the environment is in crisis. It is learned that the hunters have set traps on hundreds of nets in different places of Ukhiya’s Machkaria Beel. White bucks are being killed by building small huts in the jungle near these nets. At the top of 2-3 yards of each hut, a rope is tied with bamboo on both sides of the leaf net on the grass. Several domesticated deer have been released into open ponds and beels to catch deer that fly from far and wide around the net. Seeing the domesticated deer in the open, rows of deer and other birds come down to them. As soon as a flock of flying birds sits in the net, the predatory miscreants in the hut pull the rope. At this time two bamboos on either side of the net turn and fall on each other. As a result,


other birds, including bucks sitting on the nets, easily get caught in the nets of predators. Thus, year after year, bird hunters have been hunting guest birds including various native species and selling them in different places including Ukhiya, Teknaf and Cox’s Bazar. Villagers Mohammad Hossain, Khaleda Begum, Gura Mia and many others said that hundreds of buck leaves are trapped every day and they are sold in the market at the rate of Tk 55-60 each. The white buck is very sensitive and shy. They can’t stand the heat of the sun. So very early in the morning (before sunrise) go out in search of food. Before the sun rises, they lay in ambush in the bushes and under the grass. Bucks are not seen during the day. However, they can be seen in the late afternoon. It is very difficult to hunt such an innocent animal. If the killing of birds continues in this way, the deer will become extinct. Abdu Rahim, a resident of the local fishing area, said the arrival of guest birds has become a norm in the Khalbil reservoirs rich in fish, paddy and fauna for centuries. However, due to the indiscriminate hunting of birds by some professional illegal bird hunters, the existence of guest birds has been lost forever. Officials in charge of the Ukhia Range said action would be taken against guest bird hunters. Legal action will be taken against the guest bird hunters on the basis of whether the people of the forest department are selling the guest birds in the hatbazar.