Tiger skin seized in Kerala; three arrested, search on for hunters


Kozhikode: A tiger skin was seized from three traders in Kozhikode district in Kerala following an undercover operation by the Forest Department earlier this month. The traders have been arrested and a search has been initiated to nab the people who killed the tiger.

The operation was carried out by the Forest Flying Squad of Kozhikode division on January 1. The accused were apprehended from Venmani village, Kozhikode. The tiger skin, with a bullet mark on the left side of the neck, was recovered from the traders. Preliminary enquiries revealed that the tiger had been hunted in the forests in Wayanad. Investigations are ongoing.

“The accused are currently under judicial custody. Court proceedings have been initiated against them. As per information available with us, two persons have been identified as the shooters in this case. The territorial staff of the North Wayanad division have initiated efforts to trace and arrest them,” said an official of the Forest Flying Squad, Kozhikode division.

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has been assisting the Kerala Forest Department in wildlife trade control in the state.

Tigers are listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Hunting, and trading in tiger parts can attract a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment along with a fine.