Pradeep Pattanayak

In a major breakthrough in the elephant poaching case reported from different parts of the state, the forest department on Thursday arrested a wildlife mafia and seized four tusks from his possession. 

The arrested person has been identified as a resident of Astakuan village near the Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district. 

Acting on a tip-off, a team of the Forest Department conducted raids at his house and seized the tusks. Three others are still on the run in connection with the case. 

A tusker was poached in a forest under Jenabil range in December last year. The animal was spotted with its head missing. The Forest Department claimed the seized tusks belong to that elephant. 

Notably, two carcasses of tuskers were found in Similipal National Park-one in March and another one in January. 

“We had been tracking and following the suspect for the last two to three months. On the basis of the information gathered, Deputy Directors of Similipal South and North along with Baripada staff intercepted the accused and arrested him. The tusks were seized from his possession,” said RCCF, Baripada, Prakash Chand Gogineni. 

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