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MP: 13 tigers claws, 2 canines recovered from Bandhavgarh; three arrested

The trio was arrested with 13 tiger claws and two tiger canines from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

wildlife MP 13 tigers claws 2 canines recovered from Bandhavgarh three arrested drb
Indore, First Published Jan 10, 2022, 11:20 PM IST

Image: Getty Images

A joint team of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and Special Tiger Strike Force have arrested three men for illegal possession of 13 tiger claws and two tiger canines. The accused were arrested on January 8 from the Panpatha area of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh's Umaria district. 

Giving information about the incident, BS Annigeri, field director BTR, said, "The team had received a tip-off regarding few locals with illegal possession of body parts of wildlife. Based on the information, three men on a motorbike were accosted at Bamhangaon tri-sector in the Panpatha area of BTR. Upon searching them, 13 tiger claws and two tiger canines were recovered from them."

Apart from the claws and canines, two mobile phones and a motorcycle has also been seized from the accused who have been identified as Nakul Loni, Tukaram Vishwakarma and Santosh Kol. The accused have been charged under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The field director further informed that the three accused were presented before the magistrate on Monday and remanded to police custody.

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Furthermore, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Alok Kumar said that this is the biggest seizure this year so far. When asked if the claws and canines were from a fresh tiger, the PCCF denied, saying that they appeared to be old. However, an investigation is underway to ascertain from where the three accused came in possession of these claws and canines. Meanwhile, a half-eaten carcass of a tiger was found in BTR’s buffer zone on January 8. The 10-month-old tiger was killed in a territorial death.

In 2021, India recorded a total of 127 tiger deaths in the country, the majority of which were recorded in Madhya Pradesh, according to the data provided on the National Tiger Conservation Authority's website. Of these, at least 44 tiger deaths were reported from Madhya Pradesh alone. This is the highest tiger mortality that the state has recorded in a long time. As per the All India Tiger Estimation Report of 2018, India reported an estimated population of 2603 tigers, of which, MP, the ‘Tiger State of India’ reported 562 tigers -- the highest in the country.

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