For Muntasir Akash, it all started with a photo in a news report in early June. The photo showed a canine-like animal, beaten and dead, legs splayed, hanging from makeshift posts. It was killed by local people in the remote village of Taltoli in the Bangladeshi Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, straddling both Bangladesh and India.
“Here the story begins,” says Akash, a wildlife biologist at the University of Dhaka. What first struck this expert on carnivorous mammals most was the dead animal’s “white patch around the cheek and throat.”