Counter Wildlife Trafficking Newsletter
Updates from WCS-India
State Forest Training Institute, Walayar, Kerala and WCS-India organised a two-day online training on 17th and 18th November for 49 Beat Forest Officers. The training focussed on capacity building of the trainees to detect, investigate and prosecute wildlife offenders. The training began with the inaugural address by Ms. R. Keerthi, Director, SFTI, Walayar, Kerala.
On 5th November, WCS-India conducted an online training on ‘Countering Wildlife Trafficking’ for 35 DCFs, ACFs and RFOs of the Goa Forest Department, on the topics of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, search, seizure and arrest protocols, and applications of wildlife forensics in crime scene investigation. To take these sessions we had with us, Mr. Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First; Dr. S. P. Goyal, Scientist-G, WII and Ms. Pradipty Bhardwaj, Legal Trainer, WCS-India. The webinar received positive feedback with the officers finding the sessions very useful.
News Scan (November 1 - 30)
Poacher arrested with live pangolin from Bastar | 1 November 2020
Continuing Operation Wildnet-III, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Central Region Jabalpur in association with Bastar Forest team nabbed a poacher and rescued a live pangolin from his possession at Dhanpuji village in Bastar (Chhattisgarh).
Three poachers arrested, 55kg wild boar flesh seized | 1 November 2020
Forest officials arrested three poachers from Samakoi area falling within Telkoi Reserve Forest in Keojhar district. The officials seized 55 kilogram wild boar flesh from their possession.
Parakeet trading racket busted, birds rescued | 2 November 2020
In a joint raid, Kalmeshwar and Seminary Hills range forest officials rescued 60 birds including 22 rose-ringed parakeets, 30 love birds, and eight pigeons from Motibagh slums in the city.
Sudan national held at Hyderabad airport for transporting red sander logs | 2 November 2020
A Sudan national has been detained at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad for allegedly transporting red sander logs in a bag.
Man held with pangolin | 3 November 2020
A man was arrested with an endangered scaly-skinned pangolin on the borders of Chhattisgarh and Odisha by a joint team of the Conservation Care Society Wildlife Trust (CCSWT) and Chhattisgarh Forest Department.
Three tonnes of sea cucumber seized in TN | 3 November 2020
Sea cucumber weighing three tonnes and meant to be smuggled to Sri Lanka was seized from Vethalai near Rameswaram, police said. Two people were arrested in this connection.
Ivory smugglers arrested in Mysuru | 4 November 2020
A police mobile squad of the Karnataka Forest Department arrested the accused persons of an ivory selling gang and seized 25 kg ivory from them.
Tamil Actor Simbu Slammed for Violation of Wildlife Protection Act | 4 November 2020
Actor Silambarasan’s film Eeswaran, has got into trouble for a sequence with a live snake. A former performing animals sub committee member has registered a complaint with the Tamil Nadu Forest Department asking if the makers of the film had sought permission from Animal Welfare Board of India for the use of an Indian cobra in the film as it is a clear violation of the Wildlife Protection Act.
Forest Dept rescues 31 monocled cobras, arrests 2 persons | 4 November 2020
Thirty-one monocled cobras were rescued and two persons arrested by a Forest Department team in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district.
TN: Krishnagiri farmer held for killing elephant | 4 November 2020
A 40-year-old man was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing a female elephant in Jawalagiri forest range. The man, who is a farmer, was arrested two days after the incident.
Maha Two held with nails of tiger | 4 November 2020
Two persons have been arrested from Chandrapur district in Maharashtra for possessing nails of a tiger, a Forest official said.
17 tigers electrocuted to death in Vidarbha in 5 years | 6 November 2020
In a disturbing revelation, it has come to the fore that a total of 17 tigers and 18 leopards have been electrocuted to death at fences erected for guarding farms in the last five years.
GSPCA and forest department rescued one monkey and parrots kept in captivity | 6 November 2020
Gujarat SPCA along with Vadodara forest department rescued a monkey and 10 parrots from different areas of the city and district. Forest department is further investigating the case.
Assam: 3 buffalo poachers apprehended | 6 November 2020
Assam Forest Department personnel apprehended three wildlife poachers involved in hunting of wild buffalo in the first addition to Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagaon district of Assam.
Leopard killed in snare kept for trapping wild boar at tea estate | 7 November 2020
Two persons have been arrested by the Forest Department in connection with the death of 5-year-old female leopard that was caught in a snare kept for trapping wild boar at Kakkachi private tea estate near Selas in the Nilgiris district.
849 wild elephants died in Kerala forests from 2009 to 2019 | 7 November 2020
The death rate of wild elephants in Kerala is high, reveals statistics shared by the forest department. According to an RTI reply, 849 wild elephants died in the state during the last decade, from 2009-10 to 2018-19. As per the 2018 census, the wild elephant population in the state is 5,706.
5 held for ‘beating hyena to death’ in Ahmedabad village | 7 November 2020
A day after a striped hyena was allegedly beaten to death, four residents of Kalana village of Ahmedabad’s Sanand taluka were arrested and a juvenile detained by the state forest department. A local court remanded the adults to 14 days judicial custody.
3 Arrested, 5 Deer And Antler Skin Recovered In Odisha’s Dhenkanal | 8 November 2020
Five deer skins and two guns have been seized by the Dhenkanal forest department and three people have been arrested in this connection.
Madhya Pradesh: Leopard dies of electrocution in Umaria forest | 8 November 2020
Hardly after 20 days of death of tigress and a cub, the carcass of leopard was found in Birsinghpur forest area in Umaria district. Leopard’s carcass, which seems to be three to four days old, was found in Birsinghpur beat of Pali forest range. According to the post mortem report, the cause of death is electrocution, a forest officer said.
Five arrested for trying to sell elephant tusks | 8 November 2020
Five persons were arrested by VV Puram police here while they were trying to sell two tusks of elephants. According to the police, the accused were staying near Jayanagar. They tried to sell the tusks at Sajan Rao circle food street. A special team headed by Harish Pandey, DCP south Bengaluru, arrested the accused following a tip-off.
Coast Guard apprehends Myanmarese illegal fishing boat in Indian waters | 8 November 2020
The Coast Guard has apprehended a Myanmarese boat with 12 crew members for illegally fishing in Indian waters near Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The boat was around 14 nautical miles west of Rutland Island in a sea-air coordinated operation, an official statement.
Kingpin of red sanders racket arrested | 9 November 2020
Shaik Abdul Hakim (41) alias Basha Bhai, an alleged kingpin involved in international red sanders smuggling racket, was arrested by the Kadapa police. Eight of his accomplices and associates were also nabbed following the investigation.
Ivory smuggling racket busted in Belagavi | 9 November 2020
The Belagavi forest department busted an ivory smuggling racket at midnight on Saturday, with the arrest of two poachers, and seized 7 tusks. Based on a tip-off from the Belagavi forest department’s mobile squad, a raid was conducted at Hosavantamuri village of Belagavi taluk, where the two poachers were arrested.
2 Poachers Held In Chilika, 13 Dead Migratory Birds Seized | 9 November 2020
The officials of Tangi wildlife division arrested two poachers on the charges of hunting migratory birds in Chilika Lake, largest brackish water lagoon in the continent. At least 13 carcasses of migratory birds have been seized from their possession, a forest official said.
Two persons arrested for selling leopard skin in Kolkata | 9 November 2020
Sleuths from Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and Wildlife Crime Control Cell in a joint operation laid a trap and seized a full sized skin and a leopard and arrested two persons from the southern part of the city.
India Customs intercepts 18 tonnes red sandalwood | 11 November 2020
The India Customs intercepted an 18-tonne shipment of red sandalwood destined for the United Arab Emirates, during a month-long “Operation Thunder 2020”, coordinated by the Interpol and the World Customs Organisation, which involved law enforcement agencies in 103 countries.
Haryana: Suspected poachers held with spears, snares | 11 November 2020
A Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) team from Delhi in a joint operation with Haryana wildlife wing nabbed two men poachers and seized two spears and eight leg-hold snare traps from them in the forest area near Babain village on Kurukshetra outskirts. Four others managed to escape.
17 exotic birds seized near Bangladesh border | 13 November 2020
Seventeen exotic birds have been seized by Border Security Force near Rangiapota outpost and a Bangladeshi has been nabbed in this connection, a statement issued by the border guards.
Police arrest three wildlife traffickers | 13 November 2020
Three persons involved in trafficking of Indian Pangolin and Pangolin scales were arrested by the Jaintia Hills Wildlife Division. Acting on inputs from reliable sources that a gang is actively poaching and trafficking wild animals and their body parts in West Jaintia Hills district bordering West Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
Man held for trying to sell leopard hide in Bhubaneswar, 15th such seizure this year | 17 November 2020
The Special Task Force of the Odisha CID arrested a man while he was trying to sell a leopard hide to another person in Bhubaneswar adding one more case to the rising number of trade in wildlife derivatives in the state.
Pune Forest Dept Arrest 2 For Smuggling Tortoises | 20 November 2020
The Pune forest department has arrested two people and busted a racket smuggling tortoises.
Poacher held with coots at Nalsarovar | 20 November 2020
While wintering migratory birds may have just started to arrive at Nalsarovar, poachers seem to be making their way to the lake. The Forest Department staff arrested one Lakshman Dethala, a resident of Nani Kathechi village, with two poached common coots.
Poachers apprehended with barking deer meat from Rangat Forest Area | 24 November 2020
The AFEVS unit detected four suspected persons carrying some cloth bags coming out of the reserved forest and the forest officials chased them & got hold of two suspects, out of four as other two of the suspects managed to flee from the spot.
Pangolin Weighing 4Kgs Rescued From Odisha, 1 Arrested | 26 November 2020
Pangolin weighing 4 kgs has been rescued by the forest officials while being sold off in Koraput district of Odisha. The forest department got a tip-off and stopped the sale of the pangolin and rescued it, the officials also arrested one person in this connection.
Nepalese held with leopard hide in Tanakpur | 26 November 2020
The forest department officials arrested a Nepalese man with leopard skin in Tanakpur town of Champawat. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Sharda forest range officials, led by sub-divisional officer (SDO) RK Maurya, arrested Balraj Sarki, a resident of Brahmdev village in Kanchanpur district of Nepal, from Purnagiri-Tanakpur road.
Illegal teakwood seized in Kalem, one arrested | 27 November 2020
The Mollem wildlife forest team seized a stack of teak wood hidden in a property at Kalem in Sanguem taluka. Suspect Inacio Mascarenhas, 38, from Kamdar-Kalem has been arrested for smuggling the illegal wood. The wood is believed to have been sourced from the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, Mollem.
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Newsletter: Manish Machaiah
Infographic: Jessica Luis