JAJPUR: Forest officials busted a wildlife smuggling racket and arrested two persons from Bhikipur here on Tuesday night. The duo was identified as Sidhharth Raj (25) of Nilagiri village in Balasore district and Babuli Sahoo (26) of Kanheipur in Jajpur Road. Five antlers, a tusk and an endangered chameleon were seized from their possession.
Acting on a tip off, the forest officials conducted a raid in Bhikipur reserve forest area and caught the miscreants with the illegal wildlife products and the live chameleon. The duo is suspected to be the mastermind of a wildlife smuggling racket and they were planning to strike a deal to sell the articles.
Jajpur Road Forest Division ranger Debendra Patnaik said investigation is underway to ascertain how and where the animals were killed. Efforts are also on to trace the origin of the racket.A forest official said two others involved in the racket managed to escape during the raid.
On December 7, a huge cache of wildlife productswere seized from Kapilas Wildlife Sanctuary in Dhenkanal district. A school teacher and his two associates were arrested in the connection.