4 leopard hides seized, 3 held in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj

Bhubaneswar: Forest department officials today seized four leopard hides during a raid at Bahalda area of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha.

A joint team of Forest officials from Baripada, Similipal Tiger Reserve and Rairangpur also arrested three persons for illegal possession of the leopard hides during the raid.

On a tip-off regarding the illegal trade of body parts of wild animals, the Forest department officials raided the village and seized the leopard hides, sources said.

Notably, the Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch yesterday arrested a wildlife smuggler and seized three leopard hides and an equal number of deer skins from him in Kalahandi district.

The accused was identified as Khageswar Putel (56) of Madanpur-Rampur area. Putel was involved in the illegal trading of body parts of wild animals, said the STF.

Putel was booked under Sections 379, 411 and 120 (b) of the IPC and Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The seized hides have been sent to the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) at Dehradun for biological examination, said an official of the STF.

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