Two tiger poachers were arrested with nearly 20 kilogram of bones and a skin of the wild cat in Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor, a wildlife body today said.
The arrests were made after a night-long joint operation conducted by Wildlife SOS and the Special Task Force (STF) of the UP Police, a statement by Wildlife SOS said.
"The wildlife conservation NGO in a joint operation with the Special Task Force and forest department intercepted two poachers in possession of wildlife contraband.
"The successful anti-poaching operation resulted in recovery of a tiger skin along with tiger bones from Nagina in Bijnor," the statement said.
The two tiger poachers have been booked under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
The tiger skin measures over 10 feet in length indicating it to be a large male tiger in its prime and weighs about eight kilogram and measures approximately six feet across.
The tiger bones weigh nearly 20 kilogram and the contraband is now evidence in this matter, it said.
"It is suspected that since the Nagina and Bijnor area form buffer zones to the Corbett Tiger Reserve, the tiger has been poached in the bordering agricultural area.
"The Corbett Tiger Reserve is located about 50 kms from Nagina. The photos have been sent to the Wildlife Institute of India to confirm the identity of the tiger from the national database," the wildlife body said.
This is the fourth seizure that the team has carried out in Bijnor this year. Corbett Tiger Reserve and its buffer areas are known to have a higher density of tigers and is therefore quite vulnerable to poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking, it said.
It is reassuring to have the accused under custody and we are thankful to Wildlife SOS for their efforts in making this seizure a success," the statement quoting Head of the UP Special Task Force (STF) Aravind Chaturvedi said.
Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO Wildlife SOS, said the organisation invested several months to gather valuable intelligence that was shared with the police and the forest department.
"The objective of Wildlife SOS is to protect India's natural heritage by assisting with law enforcement. Poaching and possession of protected wildlife and illegal trade of body parts is a criminal offence which is non bailable.
"If convicted the accused could be jailed for up to seven years. It is essential to have offenders brought to justice to set an example for others to learn. The government of India invests a lot to protect India's national animal and it's the duty of every citizen to protect our endangered wildlife," he said.