TODAY -

The Midnight Hunter
An Analysis of Recent Attacks on Domesticated Animals in Manipur.

Gurumayum Bidyasagar *



(The following lines were written after a group discussion amongst a group of friends. This is in no instance an attempt to further aggravate the amount of fear instill to the public.)
(Contributed by: Gurumayum Bidyasagar Sharma, Nickson Lourembam, Kenny Nongmeikapam, Ranbir Yumnam, Julius Konsam, Bishworjit Thounaojam,Sanjit Oinam, Ajoy Laishram & Chandrajit Ningthoukhongjam
)

The first instance of attack was reported from Churachandpur, and there has been no lack of new reports from various parts of the state (especially in the valley areas). There has been so much information circulating on the social media platforms that it has been really hard to convince people that most of the information shared is fake.

There has been videos about mysterious flying object seen somewhere in Torbung, flocks of birds flying at dusk and most of the people have linked it to the “Recent attacks on animals” with this. Some have even cited that it might actually be “Aliens” on the prowl. However, the masses seem to agree upon one predator as the main perpetrator of the recent attacks. And that is none other than the legendary mythical animal “Chupacabra” “Goat-Sucker” (We are not even going to give a reference to any picture here since there are just too much variation and 100% fake).

The first report cited that poultry birds were mutilated at night for three straight day at Churachandpur district and that’s where it has gather so much attention. Having been reported in the local newspaper and made into trending news on social Medias, there is no turning back now. Because of the fast spreading news and rumours certain species of animal has also been victimised including Keijenglang (Leopard Cat?) and even Sloth (common guys give that lazy animal a break, they are on a battery saver mode and you think those mutilated bodies were done by this guy?)

With so much new reports including attacks on cats, dogs and even Humans (reportedly attack on a women in Khurai, scratch mark on forearm), this has become something very serious and people are taking up measures to keep themselves and their livestock safe. Some people are even bursting crackers at night!!!! (Shhhhh…..i have a big club on my bedside, Julius has a hammer, he is probably thinking of himself as Thor, jk).

We are a bunch of people who aren’t satisfied with the explanation and evidence that are available to us from various sources; newspapers, Social Medias, & conversations that we overheard from the local market or while we were on public transport.

o POSSIBILITY OF MULTIPLE PREDATORY SPECIES INVOLVED

So we started off with one major assumption and that is “The recent attacks on various livestock cannot be the work of one particular species of animal, multiple species of animal are involved in the attack”. We didn’t just came up with this idea out of nowhere but a little logical reasoning applied to the available information yields so much loopholes if we considered a single species, and when we applied a variations of animals to certain events that most of (most of, not all) events can be explained to certain specific accuracy. And hence we agreed upon this assumption as the very first thing that has to be kept in mind while searching for an answer to the numerous questions that has been asked.

So we have divided the events that has happened so far (those events that has been accurately reported) and divided them into two groups, one groups involving attacks on smaller livestock including poultry birds & cats (we’re a bit sceptical about the one attack on a Dog) and the other being those involving attacked on larger livestock including Goats, Pigs & Cattles.
(Attacks on Humans & reports of seeing the predator will be discussed under different sub-headings).

If we looked at the first group of case, the attacks on poultry birds have been very frequent and one of the most distinct features of the attacks has been the mutilation and feeding on the victims internal organs and the attacks has mostly happened at night time. The attack has happened even inside a well closed and lit pen.

This is where some people have cited the possibility of it being some mythical unknown animal which has the ability to fly or jump very high (courtesy of its very strong hind legs). They have even given examples of the “Goat Sucker” incidents last year in Odissa (India).

But here is where it gets interesting; we started looking up the internet database for any available information on any predators and incidence which fits the events at hand. We rejected one animal after another, some fits on some criteria while failed on some. We wanted something which will most likely satisfy most of the criteria (though we would have love one of them to fit in 100%, but that’s something we knew we will never get).

And all of a sudden we had a hit; we had got someone who exactly fits for the attacks on the birds. We had the perfect fit on the least expected candidate. We couldn’t agree on it the first time and after some more readings we had an agreement. This species was probably one of the predators that have been causing so much havoc in the state of Manipur.

The species is none other than one of the smallest animal “Weasel”. Yes we know you probably have so much questions but please do read some more and have look at some of the pictures and source that we have cited here.

The following lines are directly quoted from an article published on extension.org (titled “Predator Management for Small & Backyard Poultry Flocks, September 25, 2014).

“If birds are dead and not eaten and have parts still intact, a weasel may have attacked the flock. Members of weasel family, including the mink, kill just for the fun of killing. Often the chicken bodies are bloodied. Also, you might have notice that the internal organs have been eaten.”

That’s one of the criteria fulfilled, another one is being nocturnal or active during the night. We have some sort of confusing facts here. Some (including the uk animal spotter) claims that Weasels are “Crepascular” meaning they are active at twilight (dusk & dawn) while some other suggests they are actually nocturnal. But one thing is clear here, weasels can hunt perfectly in darkness.

Absence of foot marks can be because of being just too light. The findings of some smaller footmarks that looks like an elongated human hand (smaller) are another reason for us to suspect the weasel.

Weasel are sometime marked as “an animal born to hunt”, they are pretty small compare in size with cats, but still serves as a vicious opponents for the cat too. Being very small they can fit into tiny spaces and reached for their prey and they can also climbed walls and trees.

So we think we have made some of your points clear on one of the predators that has been attacking your poultry birds.

Attacks on other larger animals can be the handy work of so many predators. The attacks on pigs could be even dogs. The only problem while discussing this part has been the lack of information that is available to us so we wouldn’t venture much into this. We had first considered it to be a mountain lion (yeah we like them, they are beautiful). Attacks on cattle and other larger animal simply cannot be the work of one predator too. One might be by a different predator while the other one might be by a whole different species.

o ATTACKS ON HUMANS & CLAIMS OF HAVING SEEN ONE:

The first report of someone seeing the predator was a video circulated on social medias about a women narrating the incident where the “unknown animal” jump down from the corner in the ceiling……

The way she described it surely does sound like it was none other than “Chupacabra”. We are not falsifying her stories nor claiming it to be a fake. But here is a logical explanation for what happened. She, like many other people, had been terrified by numerous stories and videos that had been circulating about this legendary animal that the brain has started creating and implanting false memories base upon her fear.

These memories are than filed into her as something that she had seen. One of the brain’s mechanisms to cope up with the fear and also because of “Scotomization: The mind sees what it chooses to see.”

So in our opinion the attacked on human and claims of having seen one are probably not true. We are not ruling out the possibility of a vicious predator out there that is capable of such attacks (but yes we are still ruling out the chupacabra theory). The attack on the women from Khurai who was admitted to JNIMS had a scratch mark indeed, but we have seen worst scratch mark by a small cat!!!

o CHECK FOR AN INFORMATIONS AUTHENTICITY:

There will always be people out there who want to gain out of such incidence. This is not just with people of Manipur, its Human nature to take advantage of some issue. And for the sake of fun or to garner more followers or who wants to go viral on social medias are creating videos, audios and images which lots of people are sharing on an endless loop.

We’ve got to quote this famous speech by Lt.Ronald Speirs in HBO mini-series Band of Brothers,
“Did you ever notice that with stories like that, everyone says they heard it from someone who was there? But when you ask that person, they say they heard it from someone who was there…..”

Most of the stories and reports that are shared on social medias are full of fake. And it has become really difficult for one to distinguished and filter out the truth from the plethora of lies.

So before sharing anything, please, check out for the authenticity of the file or news you are sharing, be a responsible person.

And to all those people creating such fake videos for fun or any other reasons best known to you, stop doing such irresponsible activities before someone gets killed because of the fear you are inflicting into the mind of the people.

We would like to end this piece with a disclaimer that we are no Sherlock Holmes or any expert on animals. What we have shared here is a result of a discussion, research and analysis of information available to us. The intent of the article is shed some light into numerous darker shades of rumours that had been circulating on internet recently.

Exercise restraint while hunting down the predator, if possible capture them and inform the available emergency contact centres or the nearest Police Stations.

And by the way predation by such animals has been mainly because of the environmental destruction that we have been doing for such a long time.

Stay Safe!!!!!


* Gurumayum Bidyasagar wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at gbidya(DOT)unipune(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted 03 December , 2018 .


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