Guwahati, May 17: The Assam police on Tuesday evening arrested four government employees of Arunachal Pradesh in Dafalagarh tea garden, state forest department officials said on Wednesday. The police recovered a leopard skin and bones from their possession.
According to the forest officials, the accused posted in Arunachal Pradesh health department were arrested from the Dafalagarh tea garden in Biswanath district on Tuesday evening.
A forest official said that the accused had contacted a buyer and had planned to sell the skin of leopard and bones weighing five kilos for Rs 3 lakh, adding that two motorbikes they were using was also seized.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the accused might be involved in poaching and the skin and bones could be of a leopard killed inside the Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
It is to mention that in November 2016, the forest officials had recovered a skin of a Royal Bengal tiger poisoned to death inside the Manas National Park in Assam following the arrest of a former National Democratic Front of Bodoland limit.
Country lose tigers, Karnataka alone has got 12 tigers killed in 2017
While wildlife enthusiasts were ecstatic over the rise in tiger population across the country in 2016, there is a lot of reason to worry this year. Just five months into 2017, Karnataka alone has lost 12 tigers already. A report from the ministry of forests and environment paints a grim picture of how poachers and natural causes are killing India's tigers. While the statistics are for 2014-2016, the unofficial numbers for 2017 are already worrying.
Apart from being the 'Tiger capital' of the country, Karnataka is on its way to becoming the 'poachers capital' as well if an alert given by National tiger conservatory authority is anything to go by.
The alert warns that poachers from central and northern parts of the country are migrating down south. Despite the Karnataka forest department's vigilance, the rate of tiger mortality is only increasing.
"Analysis of tiger deaths across the country in the last three years due to poaching, excluding seizures, shows that the average number of tiger deaths due to confirmed poaching is 9 and the confirmed poaching cases in 2016 alone if 12," said Anil Madhav Dave, minister for forest and environment while maintaining that the number was quite high.
Madhya Pradesh lost 16 tigers due to poaching and natural causes in 2014, the number rose to an alarming 32 in 2016. Karnataka stood second in tiger deaths with 17 casualties out of which 3 were confirmed cases of poaching and 4 are under scrutiny.
In 2017, Karnataka has already lost 12 tigers and is all set to overtake its 2016 number. The numbers have got environmentalists worried.