There is a new twist in the tale of a tiger poached last month in Chandrapur. Instead of poachers stealthily sneaking into the forest to make a kill,it has turned out that the local Forest staff hired people with poaching background on monitoring duty.
Five of them were arrested on Friday with many antlers and snares seized. And if revelations in the interrogation are anything to go by,then the tiger found cut into pieces last month in a territorial forest area was perhaps killed in the adjoining Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra area. Interestingly,they all belong to the Ghanta Chowki village near which the tiger parts were found strewn. The alleged kingpin,Mangorao Todase,who was appointed by FDCM for waterhole monitoring,has several cases against him and at least one case of tiger skin seizure,officials said.We got some leads from locals about the possibility of some villagers being connected to the tiger killing. On that basis we raided the premises of these people to find a large cache of antlers and snares inside their houses. Some snares were also seized from the adjoining forest after interrogating them, Divisional Forest Officer (Territorial),Kalyan Kumar said. Three of them,Mangorao Todase,his son Prakash,and Swarup Talande were hired for waterhole monitoring by the FDCM. The other two,Rambhau and Ashok Gawde are villagers and have admitted to have put snares for herbivour poaching in the forest in the two FDCM compartments of 419 and 420. Kumar added. He said,Todase is known for his poaching background with many cases,including tiger skin seizure,registered against him. Asked how he was chosen to do the job,Kumar said,They were selected by FDCM.