A male tiger was electrocuted by poachers in Kathotia village of Sehore district. Ironically, the patrolling squad personnel assigned to protect the animal were at that time ‘managing’ the wedding ceremony of an IFS officer’s son and World Environment Day celebrations.
The tiger was later cut into two and one half of its body was found on a hillock and another in the nearby bushes, hardly 10 km from the headquarters of state forest department.
Three persons have been arrested in this connection.
Principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF, wildlife) P K Shukla told DNA that the tiger got killed in the trap meant for wild herbivore animals. “I think the tiger was not their target. We have found all its body parts intact,” he said adding the tiger was killed on June 3.
Chief conservator of forest (CCF) Bhopal circle S S Rajput, who rushed to the spot after receiving the information, said eight persons have been booked under different sections of Wildlife Act for the offence. The accused identified as Ter Singh, Raju and Bihana were arrested after raids at Kathotia village.
Electric wires, some meat and dry fish were recovered from their residences, said Rajput adding others are likely to be arrested soon.
“The poachers panicked after the death of tiger. To dispose of the body, they cut it into two and dumped it in a cave. Two of the villagers who helped the poachers to drag the body atop hillock have also been booked,” he said adding, “If the poachers had targeted the tiger, they would not have spoiled its skin by cutting it into two.”
Sources claim, accused adopted the technique of poaching through electrocution by extending wires from electric water pumps. They spread live wires over 3 to 4 kilometres in spots frequented by animals. The animals, unaware of the wires, cross them and get killed. The male tiger, about 3-year-old, a tigress and two cubs had strayed into the Kerwa Dam area in Bhopal circle in 2011 and were living there since then. The forest department had intensified patrolling in the area to safeguard the animals after their movements were captured in camera traps in the forest areas adjoining Kervan and Kaliasot dams.
The officials had undertaken steps to catch the tiger and had deployed a cage with a bait in the area, even though the efforts had proved futile. A 20-member patrolling squad was deputed for their protection. Reportedly, when poachers were laying the trap, forest guards in the patrolling squad were busy with the wedding ceremony of an IFS officers’ son. Four of them were shifted to look after the tendu patta collection and some others were shifted to manage the World Environment Day celebrations.
Original Story: DNA