Tiger, leopard skins seized in Tamil Nadu

April 6th, 2009 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Dindigul (Tamil Nadu), April 6 (IANS) Skins of a tiger and a leopard have been seized from three people by forest officials here.
“The skins were seized from three wildlife traders in a joint operation carried out by the Tamil Nadu forest department and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) Sunday,” Wildlife Trust of India, an NGO, said in a statement Monday.

All three accused have been arrested, said the NGO, which tipped-off the authorities about their activities.

The accused were nabbed when they arrived at a designated spot to deliver the contraband to a decoy customer.

The accused reportedly attacked the forest officials on realising that the deal was a trap. One of the officers received minor injury in the incident.

The entire operation involved months of surveillance. The traders were contacted through a decoy customer, the NGO said.

“As per our records, at least 16 tiger and 31 leopard skins were seized across India last year. The seizures have continued this year as well, which is an indicator that tigers and leopards are being poached from the wild,” Ashok Kumar, vice-chairman, WTI, said in the statement.

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