In a daring anti-poaching operation that spanned across India, the Tamil Nadu Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and the Wildlife SOS intercepted six members of a notorious tiger poaching gang, who had travelled from Delhi to Ooty to poach big cats in the rich forests of the Niligiri biosphere reserve.
Agra, Feb 24,2023: In a daring anti-poaching operation that spanned across India, the Tamil Nadu Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and the Wildlife SOS intercepted six members of a notorious tiger poaching gang, who had travelled from Delhi to Ooty to poach big cats in the rich forests of the Niligiri biosphere reserve.
The six poachers were caught red-handed at Arasur village in the Sathyamangalam range with a 10-foot-long tiger skin, one tiger skeleton, and one leopard skeleton. This information was given by an official of the Wildlife SOS in Agra.
Based on strong intelligence inputs from the Wildlife SOS anti-poaching division gathered over a sustained period of time, a team of investigators from Wildlife SOS from Delhi went to Coimbatore to meet the Tamil Nadu Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) officers following which a plan was chalked out.
The operation ended with the interception and arrest of six persons at Arasur village.
On sustained questioning, the accused disclosed the locations where their hunting tools and jaw traps were concealed in the forest area where they had killed and skinned the tiger and leopard. A team led by TN WCCB, forest department, police and Wildlife SOS located and dismantled the active hunting devices concealed in the forest.
Leopard skin and other hunting devices were also retrieved from the forest. The accused, four men and two women, are currently under custody and will be booked under the relevant sections of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
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 medicines.
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, and 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. This operation
will be significant in uncovering a larger network of poachers and putting an end to the crimes committed against tigers.”
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder and Secretary, Wildlife SOS, said, “Tiger body parts like bones, claws, canines, whiskers etc. are used as ingredients in Chinese traditional medicines thus creating demand for poaching of these magnificent animals.”
Mahendran, ACF, Tamil Nadu Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, said, “Once we met the Wildlife SOS team and received the inputs, we chalked out a plan and formed a special hand-picked team for this operation which was executed successfully.”