GEAPRESS – A 23-year-old man, of Stilo (RC), didn’t put resistance as the Forestry Corps approached him, and even showed where the other traps were set. He later handed over the rest of his illegal taking kept at home. The Forestry Corps was positioned in the woods waiting for people like him, that is poachers of dormice. Once gutted, the rodent is roasted and then served with sauce in the local restaurants. In short, a small mouse to eat…

The officers of the Forestry Corps of the stations of Caulonia, Stilo and Gioiosa Jonica together with the personnel of the investigation unit NIPAF of the Provincial Command of Reggio Calabria had lain in wait several times, but the tip was good. The warning indicated the presence of a regular poacher. In this period dormice are getting ready for their winter rest and are for this reason full of fat. About twenty were caught that night. The estimated value is 180 euros. In the poacher’s house, 86 dormice were found. Already gutted and slightly burnt to get rid of hair trace evidence. Then frozen for the delivery to restaurants. A way back right in those places, between the municipalities of Bivongi, Pazzano and Stilo, the Forestry Corps located a restaurant in where the poor dormice were served.
These small animals are trapped using the deadly bow traps. Once the trap is set up, an olive or an acorn is used as a bait. When the trap gets triggered by an animal, it can cause severe injuries leaving the animal in painful agony.

The Forestry Corps provincial chief, dott. Giuseppe Antonio Gullì, arranged specific controls to the detriment of the poachers. The poachers are local people and therefore know very well the woods.

26 traps in total were seized from the young man of Stilo.

Dormouse eating is a wide spread phenomenon in the regional recipes. From North to South. In the Aspromonte this rodent is prominent in the traditional cuisine. There are still a few municipalities that promote recipes based on dormice in their tourism leaflets, although they point out that it’s not possible anymore to hunt it. In short, a complete dish: from the maker (that is the thief of animals) to the consumer.

It’s useful to remember that the proceedings of antimafia investigations contain some wiretapping transcriptions that prove that the ‘ndrangheta families, from the ionica coast, get reconciled around a dish of dormice.

Traduzione: Gabriele Zambelli

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