After a gap of over five years, poachers made their presence felt in Sundergarh district, and this activation has come after a long time. It had last happened during 2008-09 when the district had witnessed poaching of elephants. On 2nd July in 2015 poachers shot down a young male tusker inside the forests near Badkundar village with an arrow.
The forest department had prior information regarding the movement of poachers in the vicinity. So, three squads were moving in search of them. The elephant was shot on a hill slope. The impact of the arrow was so intense that it died immediately and came rolling down. The dead animal could have gone down further but the stump of a tree stopped it.
DFO Bonai Santosh Kumar Banchur said, “we recovered the body later and we found it dead. However, the poachers could not cut the two tusks due to the presence of our team as it takes some time to do that”. The poachers had tried to cover the body with leaves so that it could not be detected and later on they could have extracted the tusks.
“We were sure that they were inside the jungle for poaching so the patrol continued” informed the DFO. The departmental squad found the body late and sent it for post-mortem. Al arrow struck to the body of the pachyderm near its heart”, informed Banchur.
The DFO informed that the poachers were in all probability from North Eastern region of the country.
“According to our information they all looked very fair and not very tall with oriental facial structures. Besides, such weapons are used in that part for killing elephants”, he said.
The arrow, which is a 6-7 inches long cylindrical shoot of bamboo, is a very specially designed one.
The poachers put an extremely sharp iron nail on the top of it and shoot at the target.
“I am sure they were firing from a gun as such a small arrow cannot be shot from a bow”, informed Banchur. The sharp iron nail was not found in the post-mortem. In 2014, such kind of weapon was used at Sambalpur by the poachers.
They were spotted near Tamra range by locals and we have spread the message to keep an eye on any movement”, informed the DFO. The two tusks measured nearly three feet each and weighed 2.1 and 2.3 kg respectively.
It was in 2008-09 that some hunters’ had forayed into the district and had killed some of the tuskers.
At that time there were locals who were involved with them and a local was the main kingpin along with those coming from other parts. In 2014 the police arrested the local kingpin while he was moving inside the jungles of Gurundia.