Nayagarh: Days after the forest department officials rescued five bear cubs from the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, the Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch on Saturday arrested two persons and seized leopard skin & two elephant tusks from their possession.
On the basis of reliable information about a leopard skin and elephant tusk sale deal by wildlife criminals, a team of the STF reportedly conducted raid on Gania-Chamundia road near Maa Kalapata Mandir in the district and arrested two persons and seized one leopard skin and two elephant tusks and other incriminating materials from their possession.
The arrested duo has been identified as Ramesh Pratihari of Chakragada village in Cuttack district and Bimbadhar Tarei of Bethia Sahi village in Nayagarh. A case has been arrested against them under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
The seized leopard skin and elephant tusk will be sent to Wild Life Institute of India, Deharadun for chemical examination. Investigation is on, an official release read.
In the last one year, STF has seized as many as 13 leopard skins, 09 elephant tusk, 02 deer skin, 03 live pangolin and 05 kg pangolin scales apart from arresting 27 wildlife criminals. A total 15 cases have been registered against the criminals, it added.
On Thursday, five bear cubs were spotted by some locals in a cashew forest near Gangapada toll gate in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
The locals soon informed the Khordha forest department officials who rushed to the spot and rescued the cubs and later, shifted them to a safe facility.