Forest department nabs four men for tiger poaching in Goa

May 25th, 2009 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, May 25 (IANS) The forest department Monday admitted that a tiger was poached in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in north Goa last month and said that four people have been arrested for killing the animal.
The four detained includes Gopal Majik, who is a known poacher arrested some years back for hunting a sambar (deer), deputy conservator of forests (DCF) north division M.K. Shambhu told reporters.

“At the moment we can say that four persons have been detained and they are being questioned regarding the tiger’s death,” Shambhu said, without revealing the identity of the other three detained.

The poaching incident came to the fore after a photograph of a dead, trapped tiger was published in a national daily newspaper last month by wildlife activist Rajendra Kerkar.

The photo showed the animal with a deep gash running across its lower hip, lying on its side, with a bullet wound just above its left foreleg. Kerkar had alleged that the animal was trapped and later shot dead.

The forest department had later ridiculed the poaching theory and had placed the onus of bringing forth evidence to prove the tiger poaching on Kerkar himself.

Chief conservator of forests Shashi Kumar had said that the department’s field probe was unable to confirm the poaching incident.

Kerkar had accused the forest department of covering up the poaching, following pressure from the state’s powerful mining lobby and politicians.

Meanwhile in a fresh revelation DCF Shambhu said that the department had stumbled upon fresh tiger pugmarks near the Sattari wildlife sanctuary.

“The pugmarks were found near the forested area near the Anjunem dam. Prima facie they appear to be tiger pug marks. We are trying to reconfirm it,” he said.

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