Pune: Forest Officials Apprehend 4 for Illegal Wildlife Trade: Leopard Claws Seized in Pune Forest Zone

Pune: Forest officials in Pune Forest Zone uncovered a grisly incident involving the poaching of a young female leopard for the extraction of its claws, presumably for making necklaces. The Forest Department swiftly acted on the discovery, registering a case against one individual and three minors implicated in the heinous act.

The incident came to light on Thursday night in Mauje Vadgaon, Haveli taluka, under Pune Forest Zone, when labourers engaged in sugarcane cutting stumbled upon the carcass of a leopard in the field of farmer Navnath Khandve. Upon receiving the distressing report, forest officials rushed to the scene and retrieved the lifeless body of the approximately 10-month-old female leopard. Initial investigations suggested that the leopard had fallen victim to a dog attack, with three claws missing from its front right leg and one claw absent from its back right leg.

Subsequent examination during the autopsy revealed that the missing claws and toenails had been forcibly removed with a sharp weapon. This revelation prompted forest officials to intensify their inquiry, which led to the apprehension of one adult and three minors connected to the crime.

During interrogation, the suspects confessed to their involvement in the illegal act, admitting to cutting off four nails from the deceased leopard’s paws with the aid of knives. Their motive, they claimed, was to fashion a necklace adorned with the leopard’s claws for decorative purposes.

The Forest Department, under the leadership of Chief Conservator of Forests Pune N. R. Praveen and Conservator of Forests Mahadev Mohite, spearheaded the operation. Assisted by a dedicated team comprising Assistant Conservator of Forests Ashutosh Shendge, Forest Range Officer Suresh Varak, Forester Seema Magar, and Forest Guard Anil Rathod, along with support from the rescue organization, the investigation unfolded.

In a coordinated effort, the accused, identified as Kantilal Chander Singh Sonawane and the three minors, were detained for questioning, and a case has been formally registered against the munder appropriate sections of the Wildlife Act.

Comments are closed.