The Gujarat forest department has foiled a sinister plan of killing wild boars using firecracker-based improvised explosives and caught seven poachers in Tapi district, said officials on Wednesday.
The poachers were nabbed from a protected forest under the Khervada range in Tapi district, they said.
Forest officials found firecracker string bombs, metal sheets made from tobacco cans, roll caps used in toy guns and chicken intestines from the possession of these poachers, all residents of villages surrounding Khervada, said Range Forest Officer HR Jadav.
"Our patrolling teams found some suspicious persons inside the protected forest on Tuesday night. When we challenged them, five of them fled from the spot on their motorbikes while two were nabbed with explosives and other material. Later, we nabbed the other five in the morning (on Wednesday)," said Jadav.
"They confessed to have made a plan to kill wild boars using improvised explosives. First, they would extract the gunpowder of string bombs and mix it with roll caps, used by children during Diwali.
"Roll caps explodes if given pressure. Finally, the entire mix would be wrapped in metal sheets using strings," he said, explaining the modus operandi of poachers.
To attract wild boars in eating this explosive-filled bait, they had planned to wrap it with chicken intestines, said Jadav.
"As per their plan, as soon as a wild boar would try to eat that bait, an explosion in its mouth would instantly kill the animal.
"They wanted to kill wild boars for their meat and had no plan to sell it in the market," said the officer.
The arrests came days after an incident in Kerala where a pregnant elephant died after consuming an explosive-filled pineapple actually meant for wild boars.
It came to light that locals resort to such illegal techniques to get rid of wild boars.