Bhubaneswar, September 16 (LocalWire): Carcass of a leopard was found in the Nijigada forest area under Tigiria forest range of Athgarh forest division in Cuttack district.
The leopard is a Schedule I animal under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 that provides for absolute protection of the animals and offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.
Sources informed that forest officials have rushed to the spot to retrieve the animal’s body.
“The exact cause of the animal’s death can be ascertained only after the post mortem report comes out,” a forest official said.
“Leopards have become the latest target of organised poaching racket in the state. The hides of these protected animals are much in demand in the international market. That is the reason why over 150 leopards have been killed in Odisha during the past one decade,” wildlife activist, Biswajit Mohanty said.
It may be recalled that the special task force of the police crime branch had seized leopard hides worth of Rs 40 lakh earlier on 15 March this year from Kuchinda in Sambalpur district and had arrested seven members of a poaching gang.