Day after an elephant was found shot dead in Denkanikotta forest range in Krishnagiri district with its tusk missing, a poacher with a gun has been arrested for killing a deer in the same region by the forest officials during a combing operation in the dense forests region in Hosur on Tuesday.
The operation has been launched by officials to track the culprits who were involved in the killing of the elephant.
A 10-year-old male elephant was found shot dead on Monday allegedly by an unidentified gang and both of its tusks were missing.
Even before the locals could come out of the shock over the killing of the elephant, the arrest of a poacher for killing a deer in Urigam forest area in Denkanikotta taluk on Monday evening has heightened their fears.
According to sources, two of his accomplices with guns managed to escape from the spot. The arrested deer poacher has been identified as Madevan (35) of Kesthur village.
Both the incidents have raised questions about the wildlife conservation in Hosur, Denkanikotta, Anchetty forest regions on the border of Tamil Nadu.
When contacted, District Forest Officer (DFO) A K Ulaganathan told Express that officials recovered a country made gun from the accused Madevan. The accused has been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act and Indian Arms Act. He has been placed under judicial custody.
He said the forest department has taken a serious note of both the incidents. Two special teams, comprising 15 officials in each team, were scanning the forest region to crack elephant killing case.
While Ulaganathan himself is heading a team, the Assistant Conservator of Forest Madhu is leading another.
The DFO said the teams were involved in combing operations in Anchetty and Denkanikotta ranges in Hosur forest division. “We will comb till the border of Karnataka to nab the culprits involved in killing of elephant for tusk,” he added.
Citing the autopsy report, he told that the culprits removed the outer part of ivory weighing around 1.5 kg while the internal part weighing around 2.5 kg has been left untouched.
The DFO said that the role of residents of hill hamlets in Andavenapalli forest range was suspected in the case related to death of elephant.