Fox ritual: TN forest department to take action against farmers

by IANS |

Chennai, Jan 18 (IANS) Tamil Nadu forest department will take action against farmers of Salem district for participating in "Fox ritual" performed to bring prosperity and increase the crop quantity during the season.

The farmers had captured a fox from the forest range in Vazhapadi in Salem district to celebrate 'Vanagnari', which is a local harvest festival. The forest officials have launched an inquiry into the incident as fox is an endangered species under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.

According to the forest officials, villagers of Kottavadi, Ranganur, Mathur, Periyakrishnapuram captured a fox from the forest range of Vazhapadi, tied its mouth, and then walked it through the villages and to the doorsteps of each family.

Residents would watch the proceedings with devotion as there is a belief in the villages that the fox brought to doorsteps would bring prosperity in agriculture as well as wealth.

The animal is then released into the forest and no harm is inflicted on the animal, the villagers said.

The forest officials told IANS that there were no formal complaints but the incident had become viral on social media and the department is trying to identify those involved in it.

They also said that the ritual had been discontinued for long in Vazhapadi areas for a long long time.

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