Bhubaneswar, March 16 (LocalWire): Day after a huge haul of leopard skins in Sambalpur, the forest department on Saturday launched a detailed investigation into whether the body parts belonged to poached animals in Odisha or brought from outside.
Ajay Kumar Mohapatra, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), said, that he has directed the regional chief conservator of forests in Sambalpur to start a wide probe.
“Our field staff in Kuchinda and Debrigarh has been asked to collect information. Leopards are also found in neighboring Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, so it will be premature to ascertain the source of skin. We are in touch with the crime branch for further investigation,” he said.
On Friday, the special task force (STF) of police had arrested seven gang members of a leopard skin smuggling racket and has seized four leopard skins from their possession.