Poachers with jaw traps back in Karnataka

What worries the officials is that poachers have gone back to the age old crude method of using jaw traps in the state forests, especially Nagarhole. 

Published: 05th April 2021 05:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2021 05:47 AM   |  A+A-

The poachers held at Nagarhole Tiger Reserve with leopard and tiger pelts, jaw traps and other weapons.

The poachers held at Nagarhole Tiger Reserve with leopard and tiger pelts, jaw traps and other weapons.(Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: A recent incident of poachers caught with jaw traps and snares along with tiger and leopard skins from Nagarhole Tiger Reserve has made Karnataka forest department officials sit up and tighten the vigil. What worries the officials is that poachers have gone back to the age old crude method of using jaw traps in the state forests, especially Nagarhole. 

The poachers held at Nagarhole Tiger Reserve
with leopard and tiger pelts, jaw traps and
other weapons. 

The forest intelligence  wing has been ordered to stay alert, to reestablish contacts with forest departments in North India to trace links between local and other state poachers and to see what new methods are being adopted. In March this year, the forest mobile squad arrested three Dongri tribals from North India and a Jenukuruba tribesman. They confessed to catching a leopard using a jaw trap and a tiger using a snare.

The leopard was beaten to death after it was caught last year, while the tiger was captured six months ago.  The major jaw trap incident that shocked state officials was the capture of a male wild tiger, Maasti in Maastigudi in Nagarhole in 2002. After losing his left forelimb, and staying for a short while in Mysuru zoo, Maasti had made Bannerghatta Biological Park rescue centre its home, where it breathed its last in 2013. Investigations revealed the involvement of Patni tribals from North India.

In 2012 too, Nagarhole staffers found a jaw trap laid in Veeranahosalli range to catch deer. In 2013, Bahelia tribals from North India were caught in BRT Tiger Reserve with jaw traps.  “We are checking if locals have any links with tribals from North India or if they have upgraded the traditional jaw traps to catch animals. Either way, the presence of jaw traps in forests is a matter of concern.

Vigil has been tightened. We have also intensified talks with Kerala and Tamil Nadu forest officials to get links. This cannot be taken lightly,” a senior forest department official told TNIE. Experts and conservationists suggested that hamlets on the fringes of forests should be checked and intelligence gathering stepped up, as there are reports of snares and traps being found in these places.



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