A crack team of wildlife officers from a number of enforcement agencies set a trap and finally caught a high-profile tiger poacher that had been on the run since disappearing while on bail in 2009. When caught he had a freshly killed tiger skin and other wildlife parts as well as live turtles.
Having received intelligence about the whereabouts of Bheema Bawaria of Haryana a team consisting of officers from the Central Bureau of Investigation, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, National Tiger Conservation Authority, Haryana forest department and NGO Wildlife SOS was put together and a stake out put in place. [pullquote]The number of wildlife animals he poached is in hundreds. His arrest can lead to a major headway in checking poaching,[/pullquote]
When Bawaria left his hideout the team moved in and arrested him. Following a search of his home they found a what appeared to be a skin from a freshly killed tiger, tiger bones, poaching equipment , elephant ivory and live turtles.
Hailing the arrest, Kartik, a representative of Wildlife SOS, said his organisation had been on the lookout for Bheema for some time. “The number of wildlife animals he poached is in hundreds. His arrest can lead to a major headway in checking poaching,” he added.
Wildlife officer Kumar explained that, ”The skin found in his possession smelt to be a freshly killed tiger — probably from Rajaji National Park, Dehradun” .
The operation took place after an unknown source gave information to Wildlife SOS as to where Bawaria was hiding out and that he was planning on moving poached animals yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 1st August).
Bawaria is a major player in poaching in India and is known to be responsible for the deaths of tigers and panther. He has been arrested three times before in 2003, 2005 and 2009 but on each occasion disappeared once released on bail.
Bawaria is now in the hands of the Central Bureau of Investigation for India. They hope that further investigation of Bawaria will lead to other poachers and the networks through which they move their products.