On Friday, forest officials apprehended five miscreants for trapping, killing and eating the meat of a 6-year-old leopard cub. The gruesome act took place in Mankulam Munipara in Idukki, Kerala.
As per reports, the accused have been identified PK Vinod, VP Kuriakose, CS Binu, Salim Kunjappan and Vincent. PK Vinod, who masterminded the plan, laid a trap, along with his four other friends to catch the leopard. The accused was miffed that the animal would stray into their territory and kill cattle and pets. After the leopard got stuck in their trap, the accused killed the wild animal and distributed the meat amongst themselves.
While speaking about the incident, forest ranger V B Udayasooryan informed, “The animal had recently killed a goat owned by Vinod PK, one of the accused and he and his friends laid a snare using auto brake cable, net and other materials. The animal was netted on Wednesday before it was killed by its captors and its meat distributed.”
Accused were sent to judicial custody
The incident came to light after the forest officials were given a tip-off by one of their informants. Reportedly, the accused were planning to sell the nail, teeth and skin of the leopard, which weighed about 50 kg. Following a successful raid, the officials seized cooked meat, 10 kg of uncooked meat, teeth, skin and nails of the leopard. The accused were apprehended, produced before Devikulam court and remanded to judicial custody.
Forest officials were taken aback by the barbaric act
While poaching of wild animals is not uncommon, the forest officials were shocked to learn that the miscreants consumed the meat of the leopard. Since leopards are classified under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972), they are liable for a maximum punishment of 7-year-jail time and a heavy fine. The investigation in the case was spearheaded by several forest officials, namely, Dileep Khan, Abbas, Jomon, Akhil, Albin, Sabu Kurian, Ajay Ghosh and Anil Kumar.
Pregnant elephant died after eating cracker-filled pineapple in Kerala
It was reported last year that a pregnant elephant had died on May 27 after some locals fed her cracker-filled pineapple which later exploded in her mouth. The incident took place in Mannarkkad division of Palakkad district when the elephant had wandered into a village in search of food. However, some villagers stuffed pineapples filled with firecrackers on her tusks while she was walking on the streets.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden Surendrakumar said that her jaw was broken and she was unable to eat after she chewed the pineapple which exploded in her mouth. The issue came to light when forest officer Mohan Krishnan shared about it on social media. He said that she was standing in the river with her head dipped in water. As reported by news agency ANI, Mannarkkad forest range officer has said that an FIR under relevant sections of the Wild Life Protection Act has been registered.