|Leopard’s skull, bones recovered in HP
Tushar Rattan | TNN
Times of India, Jaipur, 13-09-2010
In a joint operation involving officials of the Himachal Pradesh forest
department and a prominent NGO, a wildlife smuggler was arrested on
Sunday with 3.5 kg of leopard bones and a skull. Body parts of an
unidentified animal have also been found from the accused.
The recovery has confirmed apprehensions of widespread poaching of leopards in the state, sources said.
smuggler, Melu Ram (45), was arrested on Sunday from his native village
Baragraon in Bilaspur district. His accomplice, Balam Ram, managed to
escape. Bilaspur District Forest Officer, Kamaljeet Singh Chandel, who
headed the search team, said efforts were on to arrest the other
accused. Tito Joseph from Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI)
said the joint operation was first of its kind in the state and that
more such raids would continue.
The accused is in the
forest department’s custody and will be produced in the court of the
district and sessions judge on Monday. Leopard is an endangered species
under schedule-1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 under which
trading in animal’s parts is a non-bailable offence.