Chennai: Foresters of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve were in a rude shock after they learned a fellow scientist was hit by a country made landmine set up in estate areas adjacent to the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation (BBTC) estates now part of the core zone of KMTR.
According to foresters, one of the land mines exploded on Tuesday, injuring a wildlife scientist and the bomb squad was brought to diffuse other land mines.
“It is learnt that explosives were used to keep the animals at bay and or may be used to poach animals, We are investigating the matter which is a serious offence under the forest Act and wildlife protection Act”, said chief conservators of forests and KMTR field director A. Venkatesh.
“The statement of the injured is to be recorded on Thursday and we have detained a few more to know about the transportation of explosives into the pristine forest which has seven tiger ranges”, said an investigating officer.
The injured person is out of danger and is hospitalised. We have also requested the police to look into the case as explosives are involved, the officer said. More estate areas and adjacent Shola forests are now perambulated for country-made landmines, the officer added.
In the recent past, the tea estates have been violating forest norms and also pose threat to the ecology of perennial rivers that originate from KMTR.
Habitat destruction for tea estates, road development and plantations have been affecting the tiger land. Besides tiger, KMTR is a habitat to king cobra, lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Hornbill and also the origin of Thamirabharani and its tributary Manimutharu....