Two brothers were arrested with the tiger skin at East Gorberia village on Wednesday. Forest officers suspect it was a full grown Sundarbans tiger as the skin is six-and-a-half-feet long.
Divisional Forest Officer Subhendu Bannerjee,South 24 Parganas,said: Subal and Subhas Mandal were arrested with the tiger skin and they have confessed that it was killed in the Sundarban reserve forest. They probably had plans of selling the skin to buyers in Bengal. It is not yet clear whether they were trying to cross the border.
Sources at the forest department said the Bon Sanrokkhon Samiti,a local committee for protecting the tigers in the Sundarbans,came to know about the killing last week and informed the forest officials. They conducted a raid on Tuesday at 11.30 p.m. and recovered the tiger skin from the two brothers.
The forest officials are not yet sure whether the tiger was a Royal Bengal tiger. The skin is being sent to the Centre for Molecular Biology in Hyderabad for DNA testing.
In September last year,forest officials had recovered the body of a tiger,floating in the river,that had been killed by gun shot. Atanu Laha,Chief Conservator of Forest,said they were trying to ascertain whether the tiger died a natural death and was skinned by the two brothers or whether they killed the tiger. He also said the department had forwarded a proposal to the chief secretary for the setting up of a fund gather information on poachers.