No Live Foxes for Nariyai Pariyakkuthal Ritual at the Madurai Meenakshi Temple



Live foxes were used in the Nariyai Pariyakkuthal Ritual at the Madurai Meenakshi Temple. The foxes were captured from their habitat and later released in the same region. But the forest department has decided not to give permission to this ritual which is held in the Aavani month in Madurai Meenakshi Temple.
Economic Times reports
"Chasing of any wild animal from its habitat and driving it to a different habitat and then releasing it again in the wild will disturb the socio ecological niche of the wild animal and will amount to a cognizable and non-bailable offence, under the Act," divisional forest officer (DFO), Nihar Ranajan said. He appealed to the authorities to extend full support the forest department in curbing and controlling such mythical and criminal practices.  
When contacted, N Natarajan, joint commissioner of Meenakshi temple, said that such practice of bringing a live fox for the ritual was in vogue till three years ago. They have sought permission to forest department this year but their request was turned down, he said. Commenting on this issue, Sriram Janak, wildlife photographer from Madurai said many ancient rituals were connected with animals. "It evolves from nature worship but capturing foxes or jackals for such ritual will not be meaningful.