SIX NILGAIS ELECTROCUTED IN AMRAVATI, POACHER HELD - 1st February 2013

Express news service,Vivek Deshpande: Nagpur.

Six blue bulls (nilgai) were found electrocuted Wednesday in Pohara-Malkhed reserve forest in Amravati district. The incident comes a week after the State Wildlife Board discussed the menace of poaching by electrocution. The poacher, Shamu Baburao Gawali of Shevati village, was arrested Thursday.

Four members of Nature Conservation Society (NCS), an Amravati-based NGO, noticed the incident during a wildlife survey in the area. A spokesman said: "The poacher was trying to remove the carcasses using a tractor. The incident has again put a question mark over the quality of work by the Electricity Board and Forest Department to curb poaching. The Pohra-Malkhed reserve forest is proposed as a sanctuary. NCS members stopped the tractor and questioned the poacher, who confessed to electrocuting the animals. He, however, fled the spot". Forest department officials arrested Gawali later.

Earlier this month, a tiger was found electrocuted near Pench Tiger Reserve. Poaching by electrocution has risen alarmingly in the state over the past few years. It was one of the main items of discussion in the recent State Wildlife Board meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, in Pune.

The wildlife board decided that information will be given to the nearest range forest office after every electrocution attempt. The circuit won't be recharged until the forest department and Electricity Board staff complete their investigations.

Poacher 'falls' in own trap and dies
In another incident, a poacher was electrocuted in a trap he and his accomplice had laid near Bhivapur village in Chamorshi tehsil of Gadchiroli district. The deceased was identified as Sudhakar Bhoyay. He was accompanying one Gulab Sidam, suspected to be the main culprit. The incident happened on January 26 and came to light Wednesday when Sidam was arrested by Forest officials. The two had lost their way in the forest while returning to the village at night and reached the spot where they had laid the trap. Chief conservator of forests B S K Reddy couldn't be reached for comment.

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