6 poachers with links to smugglers arrested in Chikkamagaluru

CHIKKAMAGALURU: Internationally traded wildlife products including ivory and the scales of the pangolin besides deer and gaur horns were seized in a coordinated effort by forest officials in Tarikere of Chikkamagaluru on Sunday evening in which six people alleged to have links with smugglers, were also nabbed.  Forest officials recovered  four kg of ivory, 16.50 kg of deer horns, pangolin scales weighing 11 kg and Indian Gaur horns weighing 4.5 kg from those nabbed, said Conservator of Forests Kantharaju who is also the Director of the Bhadra Tiger Reserve. 

Those nabbed are Santoshkumar, a resident of Abbigere in Shivamogga, Kaniyappa, a resident of Taraganahalli, Shivamogga, Satish, also a resident of Shivamogga, Ravi, a resident of Tarikere in Chikkamagaluru and Lakshman, also a resident of Tarikere.  Forest officials had clue about animal parts being transported in the region and were on the alert to nab those involved in the clandestine trade. An informer is said to have established contact with the animal parts trader which helped nab those involved.

Mr Kantharaju said the traders were based in different locations and forest officials were successfully in bringing them together before they were nabbed by a team of forest officials which included Lakkavalli Range Forest Officer Raghavendra, Kadur, RFO Mohan, Lakkavalli Assistant Conservator of Forest Sharanabasappa and others.  Sources said that an informer of the forest department masqueraded as a buyer and approached the traders before alerting the forest department about their whereabouts. It is said that the traders had accumulated parts of wild animals poached in different places and were planning to sell them off.  RFO Raghavendra told Deccan Chronicle, "We have nabbed those working at the ground level in what appears to be a huge racket."  Those who were nabbed were produced before the JMFC Court in Tarikere on Monday. 

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