Kendrapara, Dec 23 (LocalWire): Forest officials of Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas are on high alert before the Christmas holidays to thwart poaching after the arrest of two poachers on Sunday from Mahasamada forest block within the park.
During interrogation, the poachers confessed that they laid live wires to kill spotted deer and wild boar ahead of Christmas as many people organize feasts during the festival.
Two weeks ago, forest officials had arrested four poachers and seized the carcass of a wild boar from them inside Suneirupei forest block within the park.
‘The meat of deer and wild boars are in high demand during the festival season and we have beefed up security and doubled night patrolling to nab poachers. We are also monitoring the movement of villagers within the park and its nearby areas,’ said Bikash Ranjan Dash, the divisional forest officer of the park.
‘Poachers often trap wild boars and spotted deer with the help of nylon ropes and live wires. Some poachers also use trained dogs to kill the animals.
Six years ago, forest officials had arrested poachers along with trained dogs. As the deer and wild boars do not get sufficient fodder and water inside the park they stray into the nearby fields and water bodies and fall easy prey to poachers,’ said Hemant Rout an environmentalist and secretary of Gahiramatha Marine Turtle and Mangrove Conservation Society(GMTMCS).
Around 450 poachers were arrested in two decades for killing around 200 spotted deer, wild boars. birds and three crocodiles.
Despite high incidence of poaching, the conviction rate of the arrested poachers was nil till last year when two poachers were convicted on charges of killing birds in Bhitarkanika.
No one has been yet convicted for poaching deer, boars and crocodile. Around 70 poaching cases are pending in court and the long delay in trial leads to the acquittal of many poachers, added Rout.