Sunday, May 04, 2008

Poachers strike again in Gir, leopard carcass found


Poachers strike again in Gir, leopard carcass found

Indian Express By Sibte Hussain Bukhari

Junagadh, May 03 Once again a poaching incident has come to light in the revenue area outside the Gir forest, after a carcass of a grown-up leopard was discovered in the area on Saturday. Forest officials have confirmed it as a poaching incident. Two locals, who are suspected to be involved in the poaching are absconding.

According to deputy conservator of forest (Gir east) J S Solanki, evidences collected from the spot point out that two locals, identified as Kala Dabhi and Uka Dabhi, both residents of Simar village, might have been involved in the incident.

“An investigation has been initiated in the case and hunt is on to nab the culprits. All the claws, skull and skin of the animal have been found intact,” said Solanki.

The carcass of the leopard, aged between five and six years, was found in a field located on the outskirts of Simar village, falling under the Jashadhar forest range of Gir’s east forest division. Poachers had laid a trap in an agriculture land owned by one Madhav Ladumor. When informed, forest officials rushed to the spot and recovered the carcass. It was sent to the Jashadhar Animal Care Centre where a post-mortem was carried out.

“The animal died due to an abdominal injury caused by a trap wire that was found wrapped around its body,” said Solanki. He added, “According to the postmortem report, the animal died of the muscle hemorrhage in the heart.” First Offence Report has been registered under various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

Killing of wild animals is a serious offence and offenders are liable for a punishment of seven years of rigorous imprisonment and Rs 25,000 fine, or both, said Solanki. Last year in the months of March and April, Madhya Pradesh-based tribal gangs had killed eight lions in and around Gir forest. After these incidents, this is the first major case of poaching that has been reported from the area.

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