Tribals killed tiger after it got trapped in wire snare

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Tribals killed tiger after it got trapped in wire snare

Panaji, February 12, 2010

The investigation into a tiger poaching case in Goa has revealed that the big cat was shot dead by tribals of Majik community after trapping it into a wire snare.

The state forest department, which is investigating the case, in its probe report has reconstructed the entire sequence of incidents that led to the killing. “Three women were amongst the half a dozen Majik community members, who witnessed the killing, which happened in February last year. While two main accused shot the tiger to death after trapping it in wire snare, others witnessed the cold-blooded killing sitting atop a tree fearing that the tiger may jump on them,” the report said.

A Royal Bengal Tiger was killed at Keri February last year and the incident was brought to light in April after a picture of the dead animal was published in a local newspaper.

“The group of villagers fearing the aftermath later burnt the tiger by dragging it for almost 250 metres in the same cashew plantation,” the probe further stated.

A senior forest department official said that the killing might not have been exposed, if not for the act of one of the local youth to click the dead tiger on his mobile.

Forest department officials stated that it took almost one-and-a-half months for the forest officials to locate the spot, which borders Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in state’s Sattari taluka.

The department officials, accompanied by volunteers, had to comb the entire area to locate the two boulders visible in the photograph. “Finally when the spot was identified the task became more arduous because there was no evidence to establish the poaching,” a senior officer stated. It was only after thorough interrogation of the accused that the sequel to the killing in the form of burning the carcass was revealed.

Forest department’s records indicate that the two accused, Ganesh and Naguesh Majik, killed the tiger. Both have however feigned innocence in the case stating that they were not involved and instead had not even visited the cashew the area on the fateful day, officials said.

Investigation records mention that nearly twenty samples like burnt bones, fur, broken lower jaw were recovered from the site.

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