Tiger, leopard skins seized in Kerala

Tiger, leopard skins seized in Kerala
Calcutta News.Net
Tuesday 22nd January, 2008 (IANS)
The skins of a young tiger killed by poachers in the Nilgiri forests of Tamil Nadu and of a leopard were seized in Kerala’s Munnar hill station, wildlife officials said here Tuesday.

Acting on a tip-off by the NGO, Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), forest officials Monday laid a trap in Munnar in Idukki district and arrested four people.

‘Seeing the raiding party, the accused people tried to run away from the scene. Four people were arrested while two others managed to escape. They left behind a package containing the tiger and leopard skins,’ Tito Joseph of WPSI told IANS over telephone.

The tiger is suspected to have been killed two months ago in the Nilgiri forests, nearly 200 km from Munnar.

On Monday, in another raid near the temple town of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, forest officials seized leopard bones, claws and deer antlers. The anti-poaching cell of the forest department conducted the raid on a tip-off by the NGO and arrested one person.

The tiger and the leopard are protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

‘In December one tiger skin, 21 leopard and 43 otter skins were seized in Karnataka, which shows that poaching of endangered animals has increased recently in southern India,’ said Joseph.

‘Many poachers might be hiding in the jungles in and around the 6,000 sq km Nilgiri biosphere reserve, which spreads to Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, to hunt wild animals there,’ he said.


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