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NILAMBUR: The forest officers of Nilambur busted a poaching racket that had assumed intimidating proportions over the last several years.
The arrest of Eldoss Kurnapally, 56, son of Thomas from Chalikkal, Munderi, on Saturday provided significant breakthrough in the move against wild animal poachers in recent years at Nilambur.
P. Ranjit Kumar, Vazhikkadavu range officer who led the operation, said that Eldoss was the kingpin of a racket engaged in poaching wildlife animals such as sambar, spotted deer, mouse deer, porcupine and wild boar.
A forest team under the supervision of Divisional Forest Officer (north) M. Sreedharan Nair was on the trail of Eldoss for the past several weeks. Four members of the poaching team were captured and eight kg of porcupine meat and several hunting equipment were recovered from them.
The forest team held Eldoss’s son Saji, Pailikutty, Sreejith and Anil Kumar from near the Munderi farm. Apart from the porcupine meat, two country-made rifles, 33 rounds, animal fat and a large quantity of porcupine scales were also recovered from them.
Eldoss, who kept four hunting dogs at his house, managed to escape before the forest team arrived. He was, later, picked up from his hideout at Appankappu under the Vazhikkadavu forest range. He is reported to have admitted to hunting wild animals for the past 15 years.
Forest officers hinted that more arrests would be made soon.
Poaching of wild animals, especially sambar, spotted deer, hare and wild boar, had increased in Nilambur forests in recent months, giving a tough time for forest officers.
Forest officers, who often had to confront the poachers with limited equipment, had been demanding better facilities to tackle the menace of wild hunters.
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