Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Following a killing spree of elephants, poachers have now hunted a Royal Bengal tiger, which is in the verge of extinction, at Similipal forest in Mayurbhanj district.

In a major seizure, a Special Task Force (STF) team recovered a skin of a Royal Bengal Tiger (RBT) at Sridamchandrapur village under Udala Tehsil. While a poacher has been arrested in this connection, two others managed to escape.

Acting on a tip-off, the STF team conducted a raid and arrested the poacher while he along with his team was making a deal to sell the tiger skin in the market. The wild animal’s skin was seized from the poacher’s possession.

It is believed that the big cat was hunted a month back.

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Meanwhile, environmentalists slammed the forest officials for the widespread poaching activities in Similipal.

“Poaching and other illegal activities are increasing in Similipal due to the careless attitude of the forest officials. They are fully responsible for the poaching of the Royal Bengal Tiger. If the officials don’t have passion for wildlife, they should not be posted in Similipal Tiger Reserve,” said wildlife expert Bhanumitra Acharya. 

Earlier this week, the Odisha government had suspended three officials of the Similipal Tiger Reserve over allegations that they burnt the carcass of an elephant and threw off the remnants in a river. The tusker was killed by poachers in the reserve and its tusk sawn off.