With the arrival of Makara Sankranti, the dog squad of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) has got into the thick of action. The two canines have prevented casualty of wild animals by detecting three spots in Nawana South Range where poachers had put poisonous substances near salt licks.
On January 7 and 8, with the help of the dog squad, the Range Office staff traced three spots where natural salt licks were laced with poison by poachers. Trailing the sources, the dog squad could detect five to six poachers lay in waiting in a nearby area.
The dogs had managed to catch hold of one but the poachers managed to flee leaving their belongings behind. Bows, arrows and axe were seized from the spot. A case was registered with Nawana South Range in this connection and identity of the poachers is expected to be known soon.
The dog squad which has been functional since December is currently deployed in Nawana South Range to thwart attempts of poisoning as a preventive measure before Makara Sankranti during which ritualistic hunting takes place in the tiger habitat.
The two dogs - a German Shepherd and a Labrador - were specially trained at the National Training Centre for Dogs (NTCD) under the Border Security Force at Tekanpur in Madhya Pradesh. The two have been specially trained on investigating cases of poisoning.