BENGALURU: After solving eight cases of poaching back-to-back since the earlier lockdown was lifted, forest officials at Nagarhole Tiger Reserve have hit a stumbling block, owing to the current lockdown.
Recently, based on a tipoff, the officials raided a house in Veeranahosalli range, only to find the internal organs of a sambar deer. The accused and the owner of the property where the organs were discovered are, however, still at large.
“The incident happened a few days back. Based on the intelligence information gathered, by the time we reached the spot, the poachers had escaped with the poached sambar deer, leaving behind unwanted internal organs like the intestines. The incident has taken place on property whose owner lives in Bengaluru, and now because of the lockdown, nothing much is moving forward,” a senior forest department official told TNIE.
The official added that they were unable to gather any clues, as the neighbours or others in the vicinity have also closed their doors for information. “We are also unable to establish if the property-owner knew the poachers and was part of the crime, or had unknowingly rented out the place. The case has also gained importance as the accused and property-owner are close associates of a state wildlife board member,” the official added.
Nagarahole Tiger Reserve Director Mahesh K said that they were looking at all angles to bring the accused to book. From the tests of the materials and animal body parts left behind, it is confirmed that it was a sambar deer. He added that among the solved cases, most involved hunting of spotted deer and sambar deer, while only one was a case of leopard death. “We are working to spread the message that poachers will not be spared and stern action will be taken,” he added.