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Three leopard skins seized in Uttarakhand


07 July 2010

New Delhi: In a late night operation, the Anti-poaching cell of the Uttarakhand Forest Department, assisted by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), have seized three leopard (Panthera pardus) skins and leopard bones at Vikasnagar and Kalsi area of Dehradun district, Uttarakhand.

The enforcement team led by Mr. Paramjit Singh, Chief Conservator of Forests and Director-Anti-poaching cell, have arrested three people in this connection. Bullet holes were found on the skins and it is believed that the animals were killed in the nearby forest areas of Vikasnagar and Kalsi. One poacher who has allegedly shot the animal is currently absconding. A case under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 has been registered against the accused at Chohadpur forest range of Kalsi forest division. The offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term between three and seven years and also with a fine not less than ten thousand rupees.

The number of leopards in India was approximated at 12,000 in 2008. Poaching, decline of its prey species, habitat loss and conflict with humans are all threats to this species. Poaching of leopards for their body parts, however, is the primary reason for their declining numbers. Of the total of 202 leopard deaths reported in the country so far this year, fifty four percent of the cases involved either seizure of its body parts or death due to poaching. 65 leopard deaths, under different circumstances, have been reported this year from Uttarakhand alone.

 

 

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