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Poachers Poison Leopard, Feast on its Carcass; 2 Arrested

Police said a group of five poachers skinned the leopard, consumed its meat and hid the skeleton in the jungle.

Karishma Hasnat | News18

Updated:March 29, 2018, 4:52 PM IST
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Poachers Poison Leopard, Feast on its Carcass; 2 Arrested
Representative image. (Reuters)
Guwahati: Suspected poachers killed a leopard by feeding it a poisoned cow carcass in Assam’s Nagaon district. The incident took place at Sagmootea tea estate under Jakhalabandha police station, 181km from Guwahati.

Police said a group of five poachers skinned the leopard, consumed its meat and hid the skeletal remains in the jungle.

"Two persons, identified as Lakhinder Chowtal and Prahlad Tati, have been arrested while three others are absconding. We have seized an almost 7-feet long leopard skin and bones from their possession," said the police.

"Last Sunday, a few villagers from Kalabagan area poisoned the leopard and feasted upon it," said Deben Borah, Officer-in-charge.

Poachers along the Nagaon-Karbi Anglong forest area are increasingly resorting to poisoning big cats. The easy access to agricultural chemicals and the rising illegal market for animal parts is threatening the species. A single contaminated carcass can actually kill a range of animals, including scavengers such as vultures. As many as 32 vultures in Assam’s Sivasagar district died after they fed on the carcass of a goat that was poisoned for the dogs that killed it.

“Any pesticide containing phosphorus can kill living creatures. Food/carcass of animals ingested with such compounds are used by farmers to kill crop-raiding and cattle-lifting animals,” said wildlife conservationist from Assam, Kaushik Barua.

The critically endangered leopard remains the most vulnerable of big cats as people in Assam continue to lynch and poach it for their profit. As many as four leopard lynching incidents were reported in the first three months of this year in Assam.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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