Illegal wildlife trade racket busted in Odisha; leopard skin seized, one held

Rairangpur: Forest officials today seized a leopard skin and caught one person for his alleged involvement in an illegal wildlife trade racket in Rairangpur area of Mayurbhanj district.

The arrested person has been identified as Lakhman Nayak, a resident of Badbalichua village under Bisoi police limits in Mayurbhanj district.

According to reports, a team of officials of Rairangpur Forest Division today had launched an undercover operation to bust illegal wildlife trade racket allegedly being operated near Khejurikatas village.

During raid, the forest officials seized a skin of leopard and apprehended one accused. However, his associates managed to flee from the spot.

“We were tracking the persons engaged in illegal wildlife trade in past five to six months. As per plan, we conducted an undercover operation and seized a leopard skin as well arrested one person. However, two to three others, who were present with him, fled from the spot. The operation is underway to nab those in this connection,” said Arun Kumar Mishra, DFO, Rairangpur Forest Division.

The skin seized during the raid is a 153 cm long with 31 cm width in size.

“It was a big undercover operation, which was planned before 6-7 months and became successful. We have initiated an investigation to trace more persons involved in the illegal activity,” he added.

It is suspected that leopard was hunted in the forest adjacent to Similipal Biosphere Reserve two-three months ago.

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