By P. Naveen
BHOPAL: A day after forest officials arrested three people who allegedly chopped a claw of a leopard that got killed in an electric wire trap laid by poachers for tiger near Bandhavgarh National Park in Umaria district, a tiger was found dead in Pench national park of Seoni distirct. The carcass was found near Seoni-Nagpur highway in the protected area. Officials said the tiger must have been killed four days ago. Cause of its death has not been ascertained yet. "We have sent a team for identification. Initially we don't suspect a poaching attempt,"
Earlier a leopard was poached 20 km away from Bandhavgarh National Park on November 26. Three people identified as Purshottam Singh, Ram Singh and Jitendra Yadav, all residents of Nighari village were arrested on Saturday. Two others Anil Pratap Singh and Deepak Singh are on the run.
Officials claim that the arrest was made with the help of sniffer dogs that led them to a dhaba. All three who have been arrested are employees of the dhaba, said sources. They however denied their role in poaching.
"The trap it seems, was laid for tiger but the leopard fell victim," said the officer.
On May 26, 2014 poachers killed a tigress - fourth in the last two years - with an electric trap at the buffer zone of BNP. Carcass of adult tigress - BT2- was found near Khitoli range by the patrolling squad. Its GPS radio collar, nail and teeth were stolen. This tigress was electrocuted by trap laid through a 11 KV line by poachers.
State is witnessing a rising trend of big cats being poached by electrocution with five cats falling prey to it in 2012-13, an RTI query has found. " As many as 13 tigers lost lives in Madhya Pradesh till mid December 2012, including four due to electrocution," claims RTI activist Ajay Dubey.
According to documents sourced through RTI, from 1998 to 2005, four tigers were electrocuted by poachers, and during 2012-13 alone, five were killed similarly.