Gang Of Four Admits To Killing 4-5 Leopards

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Feb. 2oth:-MUMBAI: The four persons, including two sons of forest guards, arrested by the Mumbai crime branch on Monday have admitted to killing four to five leopards.

Sources said poaching inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) could be the tip of the iceberg, and the police believe the gang sold animal skin to an international gang, which smuggles it out of the country via Nepal.

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Unit 11 busted the gang, operating with impunity in the forest for at least two months. The accused, booked under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, are Alok Khaire (27), Prashant Patel (25), Tushar Bagwe (29) and Abhishek Rane (26). They were produced before a holiday court on Tuesday and remanded to police custody till February 20.

Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said, Prima facie, they have admitted they killed few animals, including leopards. But they are now putting the entire blame on the main accused, Pankaj Patel.

The police have launched a manhunt for Pankaj, the elder brother of Prashant, who was arrested along with the others when they tried to sell a leopard skin outside the park gate.

The police on Tuesday carried out searches at the residences of the accused to find out if they had hidden any skin or remains of animals. The accused, while selling the skin to a person sent by the police, had claimed that they could arrange for any animal or its skin. They claimed that they could get the skin of deer, rabbits, tigers and monitor lizards.

The police have also questioned security guards posted in the forest. Senior inspector Raghunath Dalvi said they have told senior forest officers to check the census of leopards.

The accused admitted that they had laid traps for leopards at places they would frequent to quench their thirst and then shoot them. After that they would peel off the skin and scatter away the remains or bury it to avoid suspicion.

News Link:-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Gang-of-four-admits-to-killing-4-5-leopards/articleshow/18583901.cms?

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Animal group offers $5,000 reward

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OMG…what possess anyone to be so cruel? Driving through so many birds is just bloody senseless. Obviously just done for fun, wouldn’t surprise me if it wasn’t a bunch of youths showing off to their friends…mind you…people who do things like this probably don’t have many friends because they are psychotic maniac’s!” 

LONG BEACH, Wash. — The reward for catching the driver who ripped through a flock of sea birds in Long Beach, killing 92 of them, has been topped up in a big way.

PETA seeks information about driver who killed 92 birds in Long Beach

Dunlins fly over a farm field flooded to provide wetland habitat for migratory shorebirds near La Conner, Wash., in this 2010 file photo. Some 92 were killed by a driver on Long Beach, Wash., Dec. 27. A reward is offered to help catch the person responsible.

The national group PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has offered $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Sgt. Dan Chadwick of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating.

“That’s a pretty good reward for any wildlife-related crime,” Chadwick said. “That will definitely get somebody’s attention.”

The money is in addition to the $500 reward already offered by the Wildlife Centre of the North Coast.

The dead sandpiper-type shorebirds called dunlin were found Dec. 27 north of the Cranberry Beach approach on Long Beach.

Two beachcombers out for a mid-day stroll near the Cranberry Beach entrance, walked by a large flock of dunlins. But when the pair returned 20 minutes later, carcasses littered the beach. Wide tire tracks were imprinted on the sand in a clear sign of a bird strike.

The couple alerted authorities and WDFW and the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office responded.

Stephanie Bell, associate director of PETA’s cruelty investigations, said its leadership was horrified.

“The alleged crime was vicious,” she said. “Many of the animals had torn wings and died of their injuries.”

Sharnelle Fee, director of the Wildlife Center of the North Coast, said the trauma the birds suffered is consistent with a collision with a motor vehicle.

“For these little birds, you really have to work hard to kill them,” Fee said. “You have to get up a good head of steam and blast through them. You can’t just mosey through. They run and fly fast.”

Seabirds and shorebirds are protected under Washington state law. It is illegal to harm or kill them.

“This senseless attack on these gentle birds isn’t just vicious and cruel – it’s also against state and federal wildlife protection and anti-cruelty laws,” said PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Long Beach residents have good cause to be concerned: According to law-enforcement agencies and leading mental-health professionals, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to all animals – including humans.”

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police say a vehicle has to be travelling considerably faster than the posted 25 mph speed limit to hit these types of birds. Dunlins are able to reach speeds of 110 mph.

Intentionally killing even one bird is illegal in Washington. Perpetrators can face up to a year in jail and a $20,000 fine for killing a protected animal. In Oregon, the maximum penalty is a year in jail and a fine of $6,250.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PETA at  757-622-7382 or Sgt. Dan Chadwick of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at  360-581-3337.

For more information, visit PETA.org

News Link: http://www.dailyastorian.com/news/local/animal-group-offers-reward/article_845a7d10-569a-11e2-aedf-0019bb2963f4.html

Centre Puts Elephant Capture Plan On Hold

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KOLKATA: Buckling under pressure from the wildlife activists and NGOs, the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has put on hold the plan to capture four wild elephants in Bengal for domestic use.

Elephant Human Conflict

New Delhi-based NGOs like Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and the Wildlife Protection Society of IndiaWPSI) had taken up the issue with the MoEF, seeking more clarity on the elephant capturing plan.

Confirming the news, additional director general wildlife, MoEF, Jagdish Kishwan said that the plan has been put on hold. However, he refused to give further details. Chief wildlife warden in Bengal, S B Mondal, said that he has received a letter from the Centre on Monday stating that the plan has been suspended for now.

Permission for the elephant capturing was sought way back in 2000. But the MoEF on February 16 this year gave permission to the state to capture four sub-adult elephants from Dalma herd for captive use. Wildlife Trust of India’s conflict mitigation department head Anil Kumar Singh said they had sent a letter to the MoEF a couple of weeks back. “In Bengal, this is a major issue. And this happens due to large scale habitat loss for elephants. But capturing 4 elephants won’t solve the problem, rather it will start a bad trend,” he added.

Eminent ecologist Raman Sukumar, known for his work on elephant ecology and human wildlife conflict, said there has to be a detailed study before embarking upon such plans.

“The state should conduct a study on the routes used by the elephants, whether the forest patches are viable of holding the elephant population and identify the pachyderms which mostly lead the conflict. Unless these historical records are obtained, the entire effort to capture the elephants will remain half-hearted and won’t serve the purpose in the long run,” said Sukumar, who is also a professor with the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Echoing his view, WTI’s executive director, Vivek Menon, said: “Elephant is a social animal and capturing four from a herd will only make them more aggressive. As a member of the elephant task force in 2011, I had suggested setting up of a conflict mitigation task force in Bengal with elephant experts and ecologists, who will track the elephant behaviour, routes they follow to migrate towards south Bengal, find the number of pachyderms entering every year, damage caused by these elephants and identify the rogue jumbos.

WPSI’s executive director Belinda Wright said the problem is not the elephants, but the habitat loss. “Sub-adult or young elephants are not responsible for the conflict. The depredation is led mostly by the big elephants. Even if the forest officials capture them, they won’t be able to train those jumbos,” Wright said, adding that she had taken up the issue with some experts in Sri Lanka, where the problem is very much prevalent.

In 1977, elephants were brought under the Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and such captures were made illegal. But the Centre, under Section 12 of the same act, can give permission for capture for population control and scientific research.

News Link:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Centre-puts-elephant-capture-plan-on-hold/articleshow/15499284.cms?intenttarget=no

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