Tiger skin, bones seized from poachers in UP

first_imgTwo suspected members of a gang of poachers were arrested and 18 kilos of tiger bones and a tiger skin were recovered from them in Bijnore district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.The operation was carried out by a team of UP police Special Task Force based on intelligence inputs provided by the anti-poaching unit of Wildlife SOS, an NGO dealing with the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife in distress.According to an STF spokesperson, the two accused were identified as Das and Rohtas, both from Haryana. The two were intercepted by the STF after inputs that they had come to Nagina in Bijnore to sell a tiger skin and tiger bones.Police said as per Das’ statement, six persons had participated in the hunt of the tiger and wrapped up its skin and bones in a polythene before burying it at a safe spot.The hunt for the remaining four accused is on. The gang allegedly operates in UP and Uttarakhand.The two accused have been booked under several sections of the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act and relevant sections of the Forest Rights Act.The recovered tiger skin, measures over 10 feet in length, indicating it to be a large male tiger in its prime, said Wildlife SOS. It weighs about 8 kilograms and measures approximately 6 feet across.”It is suspected that since the Nagina and Bijnor area form buffer zones to the Corbett Tiger Reserve, the tiger has been poached in the bordering agricultural area. The Corbett Tiger Reserve is located about 50 kms from Nagina,” Wildlife SOS said.The photos have been sent to the Wildlife Institute of India to confirm the identity of the tiger from the national database.Aravind Chaturvedi, Additional SP, UP STF, said this was the fourth seizure made by his team in Bijnor this year.”Corbett Tiger Reserve and its buffer areas are known to have a higher density of tigers and is therefore quite vulnerable to poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking,” he said.Wildlife Crime Control Bureau deputy director R.S. Thakur said Satyabhan, father of Das, one of the two accused, was arrested in 2015 with two leopard skins in Udaipur in Rajasthan.DIG, National Tiger Conservation Authority, Nishant Sinha said as per the 2014 tiger census, 340 tigers were counted in Uttarakhand and 117 in UP. Most of these are in the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve and its buffer zones, especially Amaangadh range. There are a total of 2230 tigers remaining in India, he said.Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO Wildlife SOS and head of its anti-poaching unit, said the input provided to police and forest department was gathered over several months.”Poaching and possession of protected wildlife and illegal trade of body parts is a criminal offence which is non bailable. If convicted the accused could be jailed for up to 7 years. It is essential to have offenders brought to justice to set an example for others to learn,” he said.last_img

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