Indore: Five poachers, who landed in forest department net recently for attempting to poach a leopard, might not have any idea that their own pet hunting dogs would lead to their arrest.
Though five poachers are arrested, the mastermind of the gang Mukesh Nath is still at large. On February 12, a leopard had intruded into Simhasa village. Rescue teams of the forest department following a 44-hour marathon operation had finally nabbed the wild intruder. The forest officials had come to know that a broken hunting trap was entangled in one of hind legs of the feline.
On the intervening night of February 15 and 16, the forest officials had arrested five poachers in connection with the case. However, the tale behind arrest of these poachers and unearthing of this gang is quite interesting.
Prior to capture, the leopard had hid himself inside a wheat farm and was untraceable. On February 13, SDO Forest Abhay Jain and ranger Rakesh Lahri had visited a hutment of Nath community in Simhasa village. These nomads were in possession of some hunting dogs, who have the capability of locating large wild animals. However, members of the nomadic group--Kamal Nath and Kailash Nath-- told forest officers that they have hunting dogs but claimed that they were not trained. They also claimed that they did not train their dogs as they don't hunt.
The SDO said that they returned from the hutment that day but on February 15, recovered a hunting trap entangled in leopard's leg. "Following this we learnt that poachers tried to hunt down this feline by using the trap," said Jain.
He added that following this revelation, three poachers were arrested and on their tip off, two of their associates; Mohan Nath and Nagji Nath were also arrested. Afterwards the forest officials recovered five more traps from the forest areas. Later on the poaches accepted their involvement in poaching.