Forest officials on Friday arrested a poacher for killing a leopard and clicking selfie with its carcass. The matter came to the fore after he uploaded the selfie on his social media handle.
He has been identified as Sanjay Swain of Godipalli village in Nayagarh district. Officials have seized a knife, a poaching net and other items used for hunting from his possession.
According to sources, the incident had occurred four years back. Swain along with his friend killed a leopard cub at Banijhari forest and clicked selfies with the carcass. The matter came to the fore after he posted the selfie on his social media handles after four years.
Soon, the post went viral with many users demanding his immediate arrest. Swinging into action, Nayagarh forest officials arrested him from his house.
Interrogation is on to find out if he is involved with some leopard skin racket, informed Khayma Sarangi, DFO, Nayagarh.
“We received a picture of the accused Sanjay Swain, taking a selfie with the carcass of a leopard cub. Based on the picture, we started our investigation. Soon, we got his identity and learnt he was Sanjay Swain from Godipali village under Panchirida forest range in Nayagarh district. We had kept a watch on his movements and arrested him as soon as he reached his house,” said Khayma Sarangi.
Notably, despite strict measures by the government and forest department, the poaching of these protected animals has increased in a rapid speed in Odisha. At least 45 leopard skins have been seized in the last two years.
Of the seizures, the STF alone has accounted for the seizure of 30 skins. During the last two years, the STF has intensified its special drive against wildlife criminals and poachers.
It has seized as many as 30 leopard skins, 2 leopard teeth, 29 leopard claws and arrested 43 persons in this connection.