|Twenty Wild Animal Skins Seized
04 June, 2010
Delhi: The Forest Department of Uttarakhand, assisted by the Wildlife
Protection Society of India, seized 20 wild animal skins today at
Singoni village in Uttar Kashi district, Uttarakhand. The seized items
include fourteen goral skins (Naemorhedus goral), five barking deer
skins (Muntiacus muntjak) and one Eurasian otter skin (Lutra lutra).
Bullet marks were found on all the skins.
The enforcement team,
led by Mr. Giridhar Sonar, Divisional Forest Officer of Upper Yamuna
Forest Division, arrested one local person in this connection. It is
believed that an organized poaching mafia is currently operating in the
Western Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
The grey goral, a
goat-antelope, is found in the Western Himalayas, and the barking deer
or Indian muntjac is found through out India except Jammu &
Kashmir, the arid/desert areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan and the high
Both these species are protected under law and
are listed in Schedule III of the Wild life Protection Act. Crimes
involving these species are punishable with imprisonment for a term
which may extend to three years, and a fine which may extend to twenty
five thousand rupees, or both.
Otters are carnivores specially
adapted to living an aquatic life and are found in riverine ecosystems
in many parts of India. They are listed in Part II of Schedule II of
the Wildlife Protection Act. Offences committed in relation to this
animal are punishable with imprisonment for a term between three to
seven years, and with a fine of ten thousand rupees or more. Like tiger
and leopard body parts, otter skins are in high demand in illegal
Poaching is one of the main conservation
threats to the goral, barking deer and otter. The killing of prey
species such as the goral and barking deer is also a threat to big
carnivores that live in the area.