Forest officials on Wednesday arrested a 25-year-old man belonging to the Narikurava community for poaching cormorants, a species of bird protected under the Wildlife Act, at Ayyapakkam Lake near Thirumullaivoyal on Wednesday.
They seized a country gun, crude explosives, knives, four two-wheelers and recovered as many as 37 bird carcasses. Officials said the birds were being hunted to be sold to an eatery.
The arrest was made after the Blue Cross of India volunteers acted on a tip-off that 10 people were hunting cormorants.
The activists chased them around 11 am on Wednesday and caught B Ramsingh (25) hailing from Vengal in Tiruvallur district. His accomplices escaped.
“We heard from the local people that they had been regularly hunting. Though they are local birds, many flocked to the lake as it was the breeding season,” said Dawn Williams, General Manager, Blue Cross of India, Chennai.
Meanwhile, the forest officials said that a gunny bag containing 37 cormorants was recovered apart from the single barrel country gun and gun powder.
Ramsingh was taken to the Thirumullaivoyal police and was later handed over to the officials of the forest department.
Blue Cross officials added that Ramsingh had claimed they used to sell a pair of cormorants — each weighing about one or 1.5 kilos — for `500.
The 25-year-old was booked under The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 which could fetch him an imprisonment for six months or a fine up to `25,000.