HYDERABAD: Wire snares installed by a farmer practiSing Podu, or shifting agriculture, deep inside the Amrabad Tiger Reserve, who apparently was trying to protect his crops from raids by wild boar, led to a leopard getting caught in one of the snares, and dying as it reportedly struggled to free itself.
The farmer along with two others from his village, then burnt the carcass but not before pulling out the claws and canine teeth from the dead leopard.
The crime, that occurred on November 20, came to light late on Wednesday when forest department officials learnt of efforts by the three — Mandli Lalu, Kukkala Krishnaiah, Biyanni Venkatesh from Kudichintalabailu village deep inside the tiger reserve – to sell the leopard’s claws and canines.
Amrabad Tiger Reserve field director B. Srinivas told Deccan Chronicle: “Krishnaiah set up the snares in his Podu land and when he found a dead leopard, got scared and removed all the snares and disposed them off somewhere in the forest. He said he was planning to inform the forest beat staff that he found a dead leopard in his field.”
However, he was persuaded by Lalu and Venkatesh that money can be made by selling claws and the canines, which they then removed from the leopard carcass and then burnt it deep inside the forest. When the forest department staff learnt about the incident on Wednesday, a team was formed and two of the three men were arrested in their village, while a third was caught in Achampet village.
The last time a big cat was killed in Amrabad Tiger Reserve was in 2016 when a tiger was discovered killed and its body hacked into pieces, forest officials said.