|Is Corbett turning into poachers’ den?
Times of India, TNN | Mar 14, 2016,
The revelations by an arrested member of the Bawaria gang has raised
serious questions about the safety of tigers in and around Corbett
Tiger Reserve (CTR).
The gang would travel barely 15km from
Kotkhadar in Bijnor to Sona Nadi Wildlife Sanctuary in CTR for tiger
hunt. Once there, the gang would set up traps to catch the animal and
would eventually kill it to remove its skin and bones. On Monday,
Uttarakhand Police's special task force seized the skins of five big
cats from Haridwar forest division and arrested one of the poachers
belonging to Bawaria gang. Officials said that the team also recovered
tiger skulls, jaws, bones and nails weighing over 125kg.
accused took forest and police officials to Kotkhadar in Uttar
Pradesh's Bijnor district from where the five tiger skins and bones
were recovered. The incident is bound to embarrass us in front of the
entire world as CTR is a reserve with highest tiger density in the
world," said a forest department official.
director Samir Sinha told TOI, "The seizure of five tiger skins and
body parts is quite saddening. We are trying for a three-day remand of
the accused so that he can take us to the exact locations where tigers
were killed. It will be inappropriate to comment any further."
cases of poaching have been on the rise in Uttarakhand. About two
months ago, seven leopard skins were seized from Pauri district. "I
will investigate into the matter and find out how many tigers have been
killed in Uttarakhand. It is quite unfortunate and I am not going to
take this issue lightly," said DVS Khati, principal chief conservator
of forests and chief wildlife warden of the state.
program manager of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), the NGO
which provided intelligence to the police and forest official about
these poachers, said, "The state forest department has to play a
proactive role and train its staff in dealing with poachers.