By Rajesh N. Singh
Contrary to the growl of the tigers, it is the poachers who are on the prowl in the famous Corbett National Park. The menacing presence of the organized gangs of wildlife poachers in the area is posing a grave threat to the tiger population in this famous tiger reserve.
The prevailing ground reality could well be gauged by the fact that 12 wildlife poachers were arrested in a joint operation by the special task force(STF) of Uttar Pradesh police, a team of special operation group of Uttrakhand state and the Bijnore police on Sunday night from Amangargh forest range of Bijnore forest division of Uttar Pradesh. From their possession two tiger skins and its other body parts were recovered.
Besides that the police also found in their possession gin traps,axe and other equipment used for poaching of tigers.
Among the arrested persons was a notorious wildlife smuggler who according to the police is the kingpin of the illegal wildlife trade, the local police in Bijnore said.
It may be mentioned here that Amangarh forest range in UP is situated on the Southern boundary of Corbett National Park in Uttrakahand and the thin demarcation line between the two is a narrow dirt road separating the two areas.
A senior forest official from Uttar Pradesh told Indileak that the arrested poachers were released a few months back from the jail. Since they all were identified poachers, the local police in coordination with the STF had put their mobile phones on surveillance to monitor their movement.
Detailing their modus operandi, the forest official said that these poachers first survey the tiger habitat and identify those paths in the forest that are frequented most by the feline.
Once this task is accomplished, the well concealed gin traps are laid on such paths.When the tiger is caught in the gin trap, it is mercilessly axed or speared to death. Thereafater the skin and the bones are removed from the dead animal and the rest is buried in the forest to remove any possible detection, the official said.
Meanwhile, giving the account about the arrest of the poachers, a senior police official said that around two months back more than a dozen poachers managed to secure bail from the local courts and were subsequently released from the jail a fortnight back. More....