Poachers feast on leopard meat

SILIGURI
21 Jan 2019

In a shocking incident poachers killed a leopard and had a feast with its meat and later smuggled the skin to Nepal. They were arrested by Belakoba forest range officials on Sunday evening from Gajoldoba and Odlabari site under Jalpaiguri district.
Five poachers were arrested with 10 feet long matured leopard skin which was killed a week back inside Gorumara Reserve forest.
The accused persons are Bikash Rai (30), Sanjay Adhikari (22), Mohan Munda (28),Kishan Tamang (37) and Ranjit Mohanta (24) all residents of Nagrakata and Lataguri areas and Ranjit is a temporary guide of Gorumara forest.
“We had secret information of trafficking of a leopard skin from Gorumara site to Nepal. As soon as we got the information, we formed a special team and started tracking the trafficking through secret agency. We were also informed that they (persons related to trafficking) have been bargained up Rs. 12 lakh. We also received information that Sunday would be the probable day of smuggling near Gajoldoba and Odlabari site. After getting the information we reached at that place and arrested five suspected people in a motorbike at about 4pm,” said Belakoba forest ranger Sanjay Dutt.
According to Dutt the leopard skin was hidden inside a school bag and turmeric powder was coated on the skin to avoid bad smell and to prevent blood oozing out as it was killed only 4 to 5 days back.
The accused persons confessed through interrogation that they are from Gorumara & Lataguri site and they were involved in hunting the leopard in the forest area of the Dooars site.
When asked accused Bikash Rai said that the leopard was trapped in a cage inside forest by some other people and they had eaten the meat leaving the skin for smuggling.