Six nilgais electrocuted in Washim, poacher held

Six blue bulls (nilgai) were found electrocuted Wednesday in Pohara-Malkhed reserve forest in Washim district. The incident comes a week after State Wildlife Board discussed the menace of poaching by electrocution. The poacher, Shamu Baburao Gawali of Shevati village, was arrested Thursday.

Four members of Nature Conservation Society (NCS), an Amravati-based NGO, noticed incident during a wildlife survey in the area. "The poacher was trying to remove the carcasses using a tractor. The incident has again put a question mark over the quality of work by MSEDCL and Forest Department to curb poaching," said Kishore Rithe of NCS.

"The Pohra-Malkhed reserve forest is proposed to be a sanctuary. The NCS members stopped the tractor and questioned the poacher, who confessed to electrocuting the animals. He, however, fled the spot," Rithe said. Forest department officials arrested Gawali later.

Earlier this month, a tiger was found electrocuted near Pench Tiger Reserve. Poaching by electrocution has risen alarmingly in the state over the past few years. It was one of the main items of discussion in the recent State Wildlife Board meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, in Pune.

The wildlife board decided that information on tripping will be given to nearest range forest office after every electrocution attempt. The circuit won't be recharged unless the forest department and MSEDCL staff complete the probe.

Poacher 'falls' in own trap, dies

In another incident, a poacher was electrocuted in a trap he and his accomplice had laid near Bhivapur village in Chamorshi tehsil of Gadchiroli district. The deceased was identified as Sudhakar Bhoyay. He was accompanying one Gulab Sidam, suspected to be the main culprit. Sources said, "The incident happened on January 26. The incident came to light Wednesday when Sidam was arrested by Forest officials. The two had lost their way in the forest while returning to the village at night and reached the spot where they had laid the trap." Chief conservator of forests B S K Reddy couldn't be reached for comment.

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