Malkangiri, July 14 (LocalWire): Two tribals who had made their way into a cave in a hillside village in Malkangiri district to hunt endangered porcupines died of asphyxia during the wee hours on Sunday.
A group of five people had entered the porcupine-infested cave in Jhorapali village after burning fuel wood in the underground chamber.
The smoke billowing out of the fire resulted in asphyxiation of the hunters.
The deceased has been identified as Ramachabdra Madhi and Singa Madhi, police said.
Poaching of these animals goes unabated in the state even though this species have been accorded protection under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
The needle-like quills of porcupine are considered sacred objects to perform religious rituals.
There are instances of superstitious people preserving the quills in their houses as they believe that the quills will save them from evil.
With quills much in demand, the animals are being killed almost on a daily basis by tribal hunters, according to wildlife activists.