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Shocked Simlipal to tighten security

 

TNN, Feb 16, 2011


BHUBANESWAR: Scared of public backlash and possible administrative action, forest officials tried to underplay Monday's mass slaughter of elephants in Simlipal, but could not succeed. Contrary to their initial claims that all the three jumbos were females, one has been found to be a male, bringing to the fore the presence of well organised gangs of poachers in the biosphere reserve famous for Asian elephants and Royal Bengal Tigers (RBTs).

Enquiries revealed that soon after information came about the elephant deaths, forest officials ran to the spot and cut the tusks of one. This was done ostensibly to create an impression that the elephants were females and that they might have died either naturally or after taking poison normally used in agricultural fields

A veterinary surgeon taken to the spot for post-mortem, however, blew the lid. He did one autopsy, but was furious seeing the other with the tusks taken away. He questioned the action of the forest officials and returned without conducting the post-mortem, sources said.




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