The forest officials nabbed a poacher during patrolling in Soroda reserve forest on Saturday. He was identified as Prabhudutt Sunamajhi of Sikaramaha village under Bramhanigaon block of Kandhamal district.
According to Soroda Ranger KK Sahu, Sunamajhi was hired by an ivory trader of Nepal to kill the tuskers. Last month, Sunamajhi along with the trader and two hunters had killed a tusker near Daringibadi ghat in Kandhamal district and took away the tusks.
Later, the carcass was found by the forest officials, who deployed a special team for patrolling. In spite of the patrolling, Sunamajhi and four others went to Soroda forest on August 8 and fired three rounds at a tusker. However, the tusker managed to escape deep into the forest with bullet injuries.
Since the injured elephants normally come out of dense forest, the poacher gang was waiting near the forest. When the forest patrol team reached the spot, four others managed to escape and Sunamajhi was nabbed.
During verification a country-made gun, 16 cartridges, two mobile phones, medicines and daily use materials were seized from the possession of Sunamajhi, who was later forwarded to Soroda court. Forest officials have been alerted to keep a watch on the injured tusker in the area.