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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Jajpur: In another major crackdown on wildlife smugglers, Jajpur Forest Division sleuths busted a wildlife smuggling racket and arrested two persons in this connection from Bhikipur Reserve Forest area under Jajpur Road police limits in this district on Tuesday.

Antlers, tusks and rarest chameleon were seized from their possession.

Acting on a tip-off, the forest officials conducted a raid in Bhikipur area and caught the miscreants with five antlers, one tusk and a chameleon worth lakhs of rupees.

Both the arrested miscreants have been identified as college students, who are suspected to be the mastermind of the racket.They were planning to strike a deal to sell these wildlife products.Both of them have been booked under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act and the IPC.

However, two others involved with the racket managed to escape.

“Efforts are on to trace the root of the racket and ascertain as to how the animals were killed,” said Jajpur Forest Division Ranger Debendra Patnaik.

Earlier on December 7, a massive cache of wildlife products, including two leopard skins, several elephant and wild boar tusks, deer antlers, skins, turtle shells and bear nails had been seized at the Kapilasa Wildlife Sanctuary in Dhenkanal. A school teacher and his two associates had been arrested in this connection.

(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)

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