Skin of adult leopard seized in Yeoor; 5 arrested for poaching
Forest officials from Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) recently seized a leopard skin and arrested five persons for poaching.
The accused had brought the skin of an adult leopard from the forest area of Raigad, and tried to orchestrate its sale in the Yeoor range of SGNP, when officials intercepted their four-wheeler.
Bashir Mohammad Pathan, 50; Javid Dawood Pathan, 42; Kiran Raut, 42; and Madhukar Ramchandra Kank, 49, were arrested on Wednesday, while the fifth accused, Devji Hirve, 30, was arrested on Thursday morning.
“We got a tip-off that few people were planning to illegally bring a leopard skin to Yeoor in a car. We kept a watch on all the vehicles entering through the Yeoor forest gate. At 9.30pm, we saw a four-wheeler with four people, entering the gate. We stopped it for checking and found the skin of an adult leopard,” said Rajendra Pawar, range forest officer of Yeoor.
Forest officials held the four, and on further investigation, found that they are residents of Roha in Raigad district.
“They did odd jobs in Roha and had got the leopard skin from Tala area to sell in Yeoor. The four accused informed us that they bought the skin from Hirve for ₹4 lakh. Hirve had allegedly obtained the skin from somewhere else and sold it to them,” added Pawar.
“We arrested Hirve from Roha on Thursday and have booked the five under relevant sections of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, for poaching.”