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
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
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