A notorious tiger poaching gang was busted in India recently with a 10-foot-long tiger skin, one tiger skeleton, and one leopard skeleton.
In a huge anti-poaching operation across India, the Tamil Nadu Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and Wildlife SOS intercepted six members of the big cat poaching community. They had traveled from Delhi to Ooty to poach tigers in the Niligiri biosphere reserve.
Thanks to strong intelligence inputs from the Wildlife SOS Anti Poaching Division, a team of investigators from Wildlife SOS from Delhi went to Coimbatore to meet the Tamil Nadu Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB). The organizations came up with a plan which ultimately ended with the interception and arrest of 6 persons who were in possession of tiger skin, tiger skeleton, and leopard skeleton.
After questioning, the accused revealed the locations where their hunting tools and jaw traps were in the forest and where they had killed and skinned the tiger and leopard. A team dismantled the active hunting devices and retrieved leopard skin and other hunting devices.
The accused are currently under custody and will be booked under relevant sections of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Wildlife SOS says that tigers receive the highest degree of protection in India but are targeted by poachers for their body parts which are used as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine.
Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS & head of the Anti-Poaching Division said,
“Wildlife SOS informants put their lives at risk to infiltrate the Bawaria communities for gathering vital intelligence. Which then helped us carry out the operation with the TN WCCB team in the Sathyamangalam area which resulted in the arrest of 6 tiger poachers. This operation will be significant in uncovering a larger network of poachers and putting an end to the crimes committed against India’s National animal, the tiger. I’m grateful to ACS Madam – Supriya Sahu, IAS who gave us complete support and guidance at every step.”
Geeta Seshamani, co-founder & Secretary of Wildlife SOS, said,
“Tiger body parts like bones, claws, canines, whiskers etc are used as ingredients in Chinese traditional medicine thus creating demand for poaching of these magnificent animals.” Wasim Akram, Director, Special Operations Wildlife SOS said, “We’ve been actively tracking members of poaching communities and the operation with the Govt agencies in Tamil Nadu was carried out as a joint operation very smoothly.”
This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 27 February 2023.
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