Odisha police busted an inter-state wild animals skin racket and six people were arrested at Kalahandi district on Saturday. The forest officials of Odisha and Chhattisgarh conducted a joint operation and skins of a tiger and a leopard were seized from the accused, police officials said.
Shashi Paul, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest(Wildlife) said the tiger skin appears to be different and not that of the animal as its nail size is relatively small. He added that they are examining them. If required, a sample will be sent to the Centre for Wildlife Health at Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology or to the forensic laboratory of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) at Dehradun for confirmation.
As per the reports, around five tiger skins were seized by the forest officials from Gariabundh of Chhattisgarh in the last six months and all the accused involved in the smuggling are from Kalahandi.
After observing these incidents, an official opines that Kalahandi district has turned into a "hotspot of wildlife crime". These seizures reconfirmed the existence of the wildlife crime racket here, he added.
Though Raipur is a market for wildlife trophies, there is a less chance of poaching in Kalahandi”, said ACF Kalahandi Siba Prasad Rath.