Kendrapada: Two poachers were arrested by forest officials and seized 4 kg of venison and a motorcycle from them in Banabiharipur village within Bhitarkanika National Park, on Tuesday evening.
"Acting on a tip-off, forest officials raided the village and arrested Sukanta Pradhan and Arun Mallick. During interrogation, both said they along with Daitari Biswal of Bagapatia, killed a spotted deer in Sunei forest block within the park on Monday night. After poaching, they also divided the venison among themselves," said Binod Acharya, the forest range officer of the park. "We are raiding several hideouts to arrest Biswal, as he fled from the village," he added.
On Wednesday, they were produced in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) at Pattamundai. The court rejected their bail applications and remanded them in jail custody.
"The poachers trap animals by spreading nylon ropes in the mangrove forest and its neighbouring areas. Some poachers also use trained dogs to kill the spotted deer. Four years back, the forest officials arrested some poachers with their trained dogs. The national park is home to about 20,000 spotted deer and the population is rising, despite rampant poaching as each year a female deer gives birth to at least two cubs," said Sudhanshu Parida, environmentalist and secretary of Peoples for Animal, district unit.
As the deer do not get enough fodder and water inside the park they stray into nearby village fields and water bodies, which is when the poachers easily kill them by trapping, he added.