Monday, April 06, 2009

India: After north, poachers target tigers in the south

Gyan Varma
Monday, April 6, 2009 23:21 IST

New Delhi: After wiping out the tiger population in northern India, poachers have headed south.

The happy hunting grounds: tiger reserves in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

On Monday, forest officials recovered the skin of a tiger and a leopard in the jungles of Tamil Nadu. Subsequently, four poachers and their local contacts were arrested from Dindigul district. Forest officials said they were tracking the poachers for the past six months.

"Poachers are becoming active in south India because forest officials in north Indian reserves are breathing down their necks. So, we were keeping constant tabs on their movements to ensure that they do not succeed in their games," a senior wildlife official said.

Sources said reserves at Bandipore (Karnataka), Madhumalai (Tamil Nadu) and Peryar (Kerala) are being targeted by poachers. "The three tiger reserves have a considerable population of tigers and leopard which has attracted the poachers," said the source.

Senior officials said the skin of 16 tigers and 31 leopards were seized across India last year. They were meant to be smuggled outside the country by poachers. The poachers were allegedly offered Rs6 lakh for each tiger and Rs2 lakh for each leopard.

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1245857

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