Hanagod: The Forest Department officials and staff have arrested five persons, who had killed a leopard in Nagarahole National Park and trying to sell its pelt and have recovered the leopard pelt and four chopped legs of the leopard from them.
The Forest staff have seized a single barrel gun and a two-wheeler used for the crime.
While four of the arrested poachers belong to various tribal hamlets in Hunsur taluk, the fifth poacher is from Abbur near Hanagod and the Forest staff have launched a hunt to nab others, who have gone absconding.
After poaching the leopard in Nagarahole, the accused had skinned the animal and had chopped the legs.
Acting on a tip off that a person was trying to sell leopard pelt and four legs near Kademanuganahalli Cross on Hanagod-Panchavalli Main Road in Hanagod hobli, the Forest Department personnel raided the place and arrested the accused.
Based on the information provided by him, the Forest personnel arrested four more accused. All the five accused have been remanded to judicial custody.
Nagarahole Project Tiger Director Mahesh Kumar and Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Satish guided Hunsur Range Forest Officer (RFO) Hanumantharaju, Special Tiger Protection Force officers and staff, Deputy Range Forest Officers (DRFOs) Veerabhadraiah, G.N. Siddaraju and H.S. Prasanna Kumar, Forest Guards Kushal Jadav, Lingaraju, Mugali, Krishna Madar and others in the nabbing and seizing operation.