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Tiger poaching in Tamil Nadu & Chhattisgarh




Deccan Chronicle, Chennai – 22 July 2006
By C.S. KOTTESWARAN

Chennai, July 21: Three cases of poaching have been reported in Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh over the last 10 days causing fresh concern about the dwindling tiger population in the country. The wildlife department and police have arrested 12 poachers for allegedly possessing tiger ands leopard skins and elephant tusks.

"Officials of the Nilgiris wildlife department have arrested eight persons for poaching. Two tiger skins and that of an one-year-old leopard were seized last week," Mr. Rakesh Kumar Dogra, the wildlife warden in Nilgiris, said.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the seized skins were to be smuggled to China. On Thursday, the Chennai city police arrested a person in Burma Bazaar for possessing two tiger skins and a pair of full-grown elephant tusks.

The state police and wildlife officers said their initial investigation had revealed that all the tiger skins and tusks were brought from Mysore.

On July 12, a 10-foot-long tiger skin was seized by the Forest Department in Chhattisgarh and three people were held. Acting on information from the Wildlife Protection Society of India, a team of forest officials made the seizure in Kanker. Preliminary reports suggested that the tiger had been poisoned and skinned.

Mr. Ram Prakash, the chief wildlife warden of Chhattisgarh, is supervising the investigations. All the 12 people arrested for possessing the skins of big cats were charged under the Wildlife Protection Act and remanded to judicial custody.

Mr. Ashok Kumar, vice chairman, Wildlife Trust of India, Delhi, said, "Poaching of tigers is on rise in the country due to the increased demand from Tibet and parts of China." According to him approximately six to seven tigers across the country have been killed for their striped skin.

Welcoming the recent cabinet clearance for the National Wildlife Crime Bureau, he said that the body should use intelligence and trace the national and international traders operating in metro cities. Emphasising that Delhi has become the centre for smuggling tiger skins, he said the poached shin from reserve forests are being transported to the nearby town from where it is smuggled Delhi as in most cases it is the closest metro. In the capital, the dealings are finalised and then the skins are transported to Nepal and Tibet.

Meanwhile, the forest officers of Nilgiris district, who recovered a carcass of leopard near Panthalur, have ordered a probe in to the death of the big cat. The officials are now waiting for the postmortem report.

India has about 40 per cent of the world tiger population and has 27 tiger reserves. According to 2002 statistics, the country has over 3,700 tigers.

 

 

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LEOPARD DEATHS IN 2013
 Mortality               217
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