Foresters suspect NE poachers
By Express News Service - ROURKELA
24th February 2013 09:35 AM
Forest officials are suspecting involvement of poachers from North East in the recent killing of a tusker here.
Carcass of the tusker was found on February 11 at Mahasimana area between Rourkela forest division in Sundargarh district and Saranda forest division in Jharkhand.
After preliminary investigation, forest officials had suspected involvement of inter-state ivory smugglers and local timber mafia operating in Saranda forest. However, forest officials of Odisha recently ruled out role of ivory smugglers in the killing. Officials of Bisra and Samtha ranges are carrying out separate investigations.
Rourkela-based Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) SC Swain said from the modus operandi it appears to be the handiwork of poachers from the North East region. He said poachers from the North East after hunting an elephant, usually cook and eat the trunk. “In this case, the trunk was sawed off in four pieces,” he said.
Bisra forest ranger SC Sahani said three bullets were pumped into the right ear of the elephant and it appeared the giant animal dragged itself to some distance before collapsing.
Presence of poachers from the North East had come to light at Tamra range of Bonai forest division in the district after a tusker was found hunted three years back. Poachers vanished from the Tamra forest in Gurundia block after arrest of at least six local villagers in 2010.
Elephants, including a sizeable number of tuskers, are abundantly found in Saranda forest and adjacent forests of Rourkela and Bonai forest divisions.
The modus operandi of the poachers includes building rapport with tribal villagers with promise of hefty return for tracing tuskers in forest.
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