FROM THE AFRICAN
returns to world-famous
Sunderbans Indian Tiger Reserves
there has been no official report of tiger poaching
in the Indian Sunderbans since 2008, reports of
body parts being found is not new in the West Bengal
REPORT BY XINHUA CORRESPONDENT
INDIA (Xinhua) -- An international gang of
poachers from Southeast Asia is now back in business
at the world- famous mangroves of Sunderbans, a
well-known tiger reserve spanning the Indo-Bangladesh
was discovered last month when forest guards found a
dead tiger cub on the Indian side.
few days later, three cubs were also recovered by
Bangladeshi forest guards from poachers before they
could be smuggled out of the reserve.
poachers were arrested.
arrest was only the tip of the iceberg after it was
revealed that an elaborate network of wildlife thieves
are still operating in the Sunderbans area and their
captured animals smuggled to Malaysia.
tiger taking an early morning swim in the
Sunderbans National Park, a well-known tiger
reserve spanning the Indo-Bangladesh borders.
S.N.P. PHOTO -
of coordinated efforts of forest guards on both sides
of Indo-Bangladesh border, poaching in the Sunderbans
had almost died away.
National Tiger Conservation Authority of India (NTCA)
has earlier ordered an in-depth investigation into the
unnatural death of the cub.
body of the dead cub was found floating on Raimangal
River, the border between India and Bangladesh.
soon sniffed a link between the dead cub and the three
cubs two males and one female seized by Bangladeshi
forest guards in Halde Bunia forests, just across the
river in Bangladesh and less than 2 kilometers from
the Indian side.
led to the arrest of two poachers who were on their
way to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
two confessed that the cubs were about to be smuggled
twin incidents came nearly a year after India signed
two memorandums of understandings (MoUs) with
Bangladesh on the conservation of Royal Bengal tigers
in the Sunderbans reserve.
MOU, however, seems to be only on paper since poaching
has returned to the reserve.
experts said that a big network of poachers in South
East Asia with links to the Indo-Bangladesh poachers
are still operating in the thick mangroves and have
only slowed down during the massive anti-poaching
campaign waged by the two countries.
Dutt, member of India’s eastern state of West
Bengal’ s wildlife board, said it was possible that
the poachers tried to kill the tigress in vain and
could not capture all the cubs.
cub might have separated from its mother and died
the place is very close to the Indian border, the
body might have floated to the Indian side.
simple DNA analysis of the cubs can solve the
riddle,” Dutt said.
Khan, associate professor of zoology at Jahangirnagar
University in Dhaka, called for a joint probe into the
death of the cub.
said that the Halde Bunia forest in Bangladesh where
the cubs were captured, as confessed by one of the
arrested poachers, is very close to the Indian border.
hardly a kilometer or two from the Indian forests of
Arbesi and separated only by the Raimangal.
poachers striking so close to the border, there should
be joint probe to track the origin of the crime,” he
Ali, chief conservator of forests in Bangladesh, also
said that one of the arrested poachers has confessed
that his companion was killed after he was attacked by
the mastermind of the poaching syndicate is still on
is important that we get the people behind this
poaching operation,” Ali said.
there has been no official report of tiger poaching in
the Indian Sunderbans since 2008, reports of tiger
body parts being found is not new in the West Bengal.
2010-11 alone, five tiger skulls and four tiger skins
were seized in the state.
Biosphere Reserve director Pradeep Vyas said:
is true that there are two MoUs between the
countries, but field level implementation is yet to
that is done, we cannot approach the Bangladeshi
and smuggling of wildlife from the Sunderbans have
been going on.
few months ago the West Bengal police seized a huge
consignment of rare species of turtles and sea horses
meant to be smuggled to West Asia.
March, in a joint raid forest officials and the police
seized a trawler and a truck loaded with a consignment
of small tortoises and rare species of birds.
interrogation, the arrested men confessed that the
reptiles and birds were about to be brought to a ship
anchored in the Bay of Bengal and was set to sail for
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