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Four wildlife traders held, tiger parts seized

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The pristine forests of NR Pura in Chikkamagaluru district being a ‘buffer’ for Bhadra Tiger Reserve, witnesses tiger (and other wildlife) spillovers frequently as also conflicts. On Sunday, a tiger cub was killed in NR Pura forests, and its body parts were seized in Mandya when offenders were trying to sell them. The Chief Wildlife Warden has sought a detailed inquiry into the snaring of this tiger in Koppa Territorial Division and trading of its body parts in Mandya.

The state forest police cell led by Ravishankar and his team caught four wildlife traders in Mandya town. The accused include Ashwath Kumar of Varkatte village of NR Pura taluk who had hunted the tiger by snaring it. He had skinned the cub and taken out its 10 nails. Three others arrested were from Mandya – Udayakumar, Ranjan and Sachin. The forest police recovered the tiger skin, 10 nails and two bikes.

Initial probe has revealed the poacher had snared the animal in NR Pura territorial forests and smuggled it to Mandya to sell the body parts with the help of his friends. This time, he was caught while trying to sell the tiger skin and nails on Bannur Road. The case has been handed over to Mandya territorial forest division for further investigations.

The NR Pura RFO and his team are trying to identify the area where this tiger cub was snared. Forest officials said, “We will look into the issue and see whether there is an organised gang operating here. We see a lot of spillover wildlife population from Bhadra and the resulting conflict. However, there is no evidence that this area is a hub for wildlife trading.”

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