4 Men Gang-Raped, Killed and Ate a Protected Monitor Lizard

Jun 18, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership

Forest officials in India are investigating four men who gang-raped, killed, cooked and ate a monitor lizard in one of India’s most protected forest reserves. It was the only monitor lizard in the park.

The incident took place on March 29 at the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. The forest’s camera traps, meant for tracking tigers, caught the accused men trespassing the reserve’s Chandoli National Park. Forest officials arrested the men between April 1 and 5, and found photos and videos on their phones of them gang-raping a monitor lizard, and then killing and eating it.

“I have never seen a crime like this before,” division forest officer Vishal Mali told VICE World News. “The men are in their 20s and 30s, and they appear to have done it for fun. There was no religious or black magic agenda.”

The men were identified as Sandeep Pawar, Mangesh Kamtekar, Akshay Kamtekar and Ramesh Ghag, all locals. They are charged under India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. A local court granted them bail last week.

Forest officials in Maharastra's Sahyadri Tiger Reserve stand with the accused (in yellow, red, blue and extreme right) who were found to have had intercourse with an Indian monitor lizard.

India’s monitor lizards are endangered, and are a protected species by law. Violators may be punished with a seven-year jail term. A report by wildlife advocacy groups recorded 82 cases of sexual abuse against animals in India between 2010 and 2020. This was out of a total of 500,000 cases of animal-related crimes that include torture and killings.

Most recent cases of sexual abuse against animals include a man raping and killing a pregnant goat in southern India, and a 60-year-old man raping a female stray dog last year.

While the suspects are out on bail, Mali said the photos and videos of the incident have been sent to a forensic lab to build evidence for the case. Forest officials are also seeking legal advice on charging the accused under a law that criminalises unnatural sex between humans and animals. “Not only is this cruel, but there is a risk of zoonotic diseases from this kind of case. There are concerns of men carrying STDs and other infections from their act,” Mali said.

The Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, which is spread across over 1,166 square kilometres (116,600 hectares), is governed by the Indian government, and encompasses three national parks. The Chandoli National Park is spread across over 300 square kilometres (30,000 hectares) and has wildlife ranging from tigers and panthers, to reptiles such as monitor lizards and geckos. There is no official census of animals in the park, but Mali said it has 30 animals per square feet.


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Talent shortage in Singapore with 8 in 10 employers reporting difficulty in filling roles

Jun 15, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership

In ManpowerGroup Singapore's Q2 Employment Outlook Survey, the company revealed positive sentiments regarding pay increments and bonuses. In the latest edition of this report, for Q3, the sentiments have shifted towards hiring between the July to September 2022 period - labelled as "a record high" in the report.

In brief, Singapore’s net employment outlook (NEO) is at +40%, with the previous "record high" being in Q4 2011 at +31%. Further, employers surveyed in all 11 sectors (i.e. communications & media, manufacturing, and construction) anticipate positive headcount growth in Q3, with not-for-profit employers reporting "strongest" hiring intentions at 67%.

Despite the optimistic outlook, Singapore’s talent shortage level has been found to be at "its highest in 16 years", with more than eight in 10 (84%) employers reporting difficulty in filling roles. This statistic represented a 20% increase from 2021. Prior to that, talent shortage levels were quite high in 2018 at 56%, and in 2010 at 53%. According to the findings, the most difficult-to-fill roles are in restaurants & hotels (97%), other services (89%), and construction (88%).

That said, the "most sought-after" professions are: IT & data, operation & logistics, sales & marketing, manufacturing & production, and customer facing & front office. On top of that, employers are also looking at soft skills such as critical thinking & analysis, creativity & originality, resilience & adaptability, leadership & social influence, and reasoning & problem solving.

"The shift from pandemic to endemic has given companies greater clarity on their business outlooks," explained Linda Teo, Country Manager, ManpowerGroup Singapore. "Employers are ramping up their hiring due to a combination of factors like pent-up demand for manpower, employee attrition, and shortage of workers with the right skillsets."

Dissecting the local numbers

Filtering Singapore's NEO figure, analysts discovered that:

  • More than half (52%) of employers plan to hire;
  • More than one in 10 (12%) of employers expect a staffing decrease;
  • Close to four in 10 (35%) of employers plan to keep workforce levels steady, and
  • Less than five in 10 (2%) of employers are undecided about the hiring/talent scene.

In addition to not-for-profit employers having strong hiring intentions, those in other services (professional, scientific & technical, and administrative & support) similarly have positive intentions at 59%. These employers are then followed by those in banking, finance, insurance & real estate (56%), wholesale & retail trade (50%), and restaurants & hotels (46%).

A global perspective

Of the more than 40,000 employers surveyed across the globe, many are likewise expecting to hire more workers in the Q3 2022. According to findings, the global NEO is at +33% - which revealed hiring intentions to "increase year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter" respectively at +18% and +4%. In terms of per country/territory data, Mexico ranks top with a +59% NEO, while India has a +51%; Mainland China +29%, and Hong Kong +11%.

India's NEO is the strongest in the APAC region for the second consecutive quarter, up 13% since Q2. As for Hong Kong's NEO, it improved by 8% compared to Q2 2022, and by 10% compared to the previous year.

Looking at the hiring/talent scene, analysts discovered that digital roles continue to drive "most demand" with employers in IT & technology (+44%). This is followed by those in banking, finance, insurance & real estate (+38%), construction (33%), and manufacturing (33%).