The Anti-Poaching cell of the Uttarakhand Forest Department, assisted by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), seized 2 leopard skins, 1 leopard cat skin and 1 Himalayan black bear gall bladder from Chakrata in Dehradun district, Uttarakhand, last night.
In the late night operation, the Anti-Poaching cell led by Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Mr. Paramjit Singh, arrested two local persons in connection with this seizure. A case under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 has been registering against accused at Chakrata forest division.
All three species, leopard (Panthera pardus), leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) and Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus) are listed in Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act. Any crime involving these species is punishable with imprisonment for a term between three to seven years and also with a fine not less than ten thousand rupees.
This is the second time that Himalayan black bear gall bladder has been seized from this region this year. Earlier, on 13th May, one bear gall bladder was seized from the neighboring Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh. Bear gall bladder is used to extract bile which is used in the preparation of traditional Chinese medicine.
According to WPSI’s Wildlife Crime database, 81 leopard deaths have been reported from Uttarakhand in 2010, with more than 35 reportedly killed by poachers. The database also reveals a total of 133 leopard deaths from poaching and seizure cases from across the country so far in 2010.