In a major breakthrough, the SSB has arrested a poacher suspected to be behind the killing of a semi-adult elephant four days ago. The poacher, Bipul Sanu Oraon, a resident of Nararthali in Buxa Tiger Reserve in Alipurduar’s Kumargramduar block, is a major catch for the forest department. A leopard skin along with a motorcycle was also recovered from him.
On July 8, forest officials recovered the body of a headless half-grown elephant near the Rydak River in Tiamari beat. It was thought the tusker might have died near the Bhutan border, which is nearby.
Poaching of wild animals has become a major concern for forest officials. In recent years, there has been sharp rise in cases of poaching. A few locals are actively involved in it as it is very easy way to make huge sums of money. At least seven elephants have been killed in north Bengal over the past few years, with six rhinos killed in Jaldapara alone. Two years ago, a rhino was killed by poachers in Gorumara National Park, the first such incident in 22 years.
Conservationists blame lack of personnel for the consistent poaching of animals in north Bengal. According to Animesh Basu of Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation, the forest department has a staff shortage of 36 per cent at present.
With the arrest of Bipul Oraon, forest officials are trying to find other poachers operating in the area. (EOIC)