Wildlife smuggling: Indian bullfrog caught, sold in Goa as delicacy

Team Udayavani, Jun 27, 2019, 12:36 PM IST

Karwar: Frogs along the coast of Uttara Kannada may have to think twice before uttering a sound since there is a great demand for them as a delicacy in Goa.

There is a big demand for Indian bullfrog in Goa and Maharashtra, and the species has survived better off in Uttara Kannada district. Now with foreign visitors and Goans falling in love with the meat of this frog, which is popularly known as the delicacy ‘jumping chicken’, the frog species is facing imminent danger.

Hunting of Indian Bullfrog is banned in Karnataka and Goa. However, the frogs reach eateries and restaurants illegally and get marketed as ‘jumping chicken’.

Indian bullfrog 2

Strict measures are in place against catching of Indian bullfrogs in Goa and hence, the restaurant operators have turned towards Karwar to improve their earnings. Based on its size, a frog may fetch anywhere between Rs 600 to 1,000.

More Indian bullfrogs are seen during the monsoon as it happens to be their breeding season. This amphibian specie is easier to identify as they are larger in size in comparison to other frogs. Hence, they are caught alive by the hunters.

Apparently, since there is a high demand at the restaurants for the hind limbs of the species than other body parts as it has more meat, the hunters need to catch them alive. Hence, the frogs do not get slaughtered in advance for separating their skin and flesh. Caught frogs smuggled to restaurants in Goa and Mumbai. The amphibians are slaughtered at the restaurant, with the read limbs being salvaged while the rest is discarded.

Tourists visiting from countries like China, Japan, USA, Australia, Turkey, Tibet and other places are ready to pay high price to the legs of Indian bullfrogs. The delicacy also has consumers form Mumbai and West Bengal. Thus the increase in demand for the species is only causing more frog deaths.

Speaking of the situation, Assistant conservator of forests here, Manjunath Navi, said that only after a few persons caught smuggling the frogs were caught along with a number of frogs at the district border with Goa two years back did the department come across information regarding the illegal transportation of frogs. Hence, strict steps have been undertaken and the forest department has been keeping close vigil at the borders, he informed.

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) depot manager and other staff have been kept informed about this and asked to convey information in case they come across suspects. Earlier, a person from Ankola was arrested and booked for this offence. This case is before the court, he added.

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