Mudumalai (Tamil Nadu), Apr 15 (ANI): The Tamil Nadu Forest Department officials recovered a tiger skin from a seven-member gang on Thursday in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve of the state's Niligiri District.
The seizure has once again highlighted the revival of poaching of tigers in the Western Ghats.
Acting on a tip off, the officials nabbed five suspects, before they could sell the tiger skin to a customer.
Officials said that other two members of the gang managed to flee from the scene.
According to Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Field Director, Rajesh Srivatsava, the hunt to nab the other two is on.
"Earlier in the morning today, they recovered the tusk and arrested five accused near Anakati area in Niligiri north division. Whole investigation was going on today. Still two accused are absconding," Srivatsava said.
"We are searching for them and definitely, we are confident that we will still arrest them and we will take stringent action against all concerned," he added.
The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2007.
According to a recent tiger census, there are just 35 tigers left in Mudumali.
Poaching and loss of habitat have resulted in the dwindling of the big cats population at an alarming rate.
India is a key player in efforts to boost the global tiger population, which numbers just a few thousand which, certain wildlife experts feel could be extinct in another two decades.
Conservationists say the trade in skin and bones is booming to countries such as China, which has banned the use of tiger parts in medicine but where everything from fur to whiskers to eyeballs to bones, are still used.(ANI)