Two poachers held near Bhitarkanika National Park

Two poachers were arrested with two dead birds at Amarabati close to the Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district, forest officials said Wednesday.

Kendrapara (Odisha): Two poachers were arrested with two dead birds at Amarabati close to the Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district, forest officials said Wednesday.

"The arrested poachers Sunil Khamari and Sukadev Mandal were active members of a birds' poaching racket. They have confessed to the crime. The slain birds were open bill stork. They had killed the birds by spreading nets in the village field", Forest Range Officer Durga Charana Sahoo said.

Both the poachers were arrested under the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 yesterday. They were produced in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) in Pattamundai which rejected their bail applications and remanded them in jail custody, he said.

This was the first poaching case detected by forest personnel in Bhitarkanika and its nearby areas during the current monsoon nesting season of birds in Bhitarkanika and its nearby areas.

Poachers turn active when thousands of birds swoop down to nest at Bagagahan a heronry of birds in Bhitarkanika, a famous Ramsar wetland site and its nearby areas.

A large number of birds have arrived in Bhitarkanika and its nearby areas for laying eggs in the nesting season. The forest guards patrol the park and its nearby areas to prevent poaching during the season, said the forest officer.

Forest officials have been organising camps in the villages of Gupti and Talachua within the national parks to create awareness among the locals to protect the avian guests. Villagers have also vowed to protect the birds and to prevent any poachers to kill the birds or any animals in these areas, he added.

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