Four arrested for killing wild elephant in Wayanad (India)


KR Rajeev, Times of India

Date Published


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Forest officials on Saturday arrested a four-member poaching gang for allegedly shooting down a female wild elephant in a private land on the forest fringes near Chethalayam under the South Wayanad forest division on July 26.

The arrested have been identified as Padmanabhan hailing from Kappikunnu, Pradeep of Kolerattukunnu, M T Mani and Balagopalan hailing from Ariyakode in Wayanad.

A country- made gun, 20 bullets and several knifes were seized from their possession.

Forest officials said that the accused were engaged in hunting of wild animals and used to sell the meat. They shot down the wild elephant on the forest fringes on Tuesday when it blocked their way.

Though the arrested Balagopalan was not part of the gang when the elephant was shot down, the gun and weapons were recovered from his house. Another accused, M T Mani had been arrested in a poaching case in 2008.

The investigations into the case was led by South Wayanad divisional forest officer Abdul Azeez and Chethalayam forest range officer, Sajikumar Rayaroth.

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The carcass of the 20-year-old elephant with three bullet wounds on its head was found in a pepper plantation situated just 25 metres away from the forest boundary Tuesday morning.

The arrested were produced before the Sultan Bathery judicial first class magistrate court and remanded to custody.