Odisha: Forester, guard suspended, ranger gets show cause (India) The New Indian Express January 11, 2021
BARIPADA: Two days after carcass of a wild tusker with missing tusks was found in Ramkunda forest under Kaptipada range here, the divisional forest officer (DFO) of Baripada on Sunday said, a forester and guard were placed under suspension and show cause notice slapped on Kaptipada ranger.
Those put on notice are forester Chintamani Mohapatra, forest guard Pramila Sen and ranger Maheswar Singh.
Carcass of the wild tusker was spotted inside Ramkunda forest under Sarisua beat of Kaptipada range on Friday. It bore no injury marks but its tusks were found missing.
Two veterinary teams, one from Similipal Tiger Reserve and another from Kaptipada block, had rushed to the spot and conducted autopsy in presence of DFO Santosh Kumar Joshi and Regional Chief Conservator of Forest and Field Director of Similipal M Yogajayanand.
The DFO said, “The forester and guard were suspended and show cause notice has been furnished to the ranger for neglect of duty on Friday itself. Due action will be taken.”
It appears the elephant was poisoned, a common tactic by poachers to remove the tusks. Wildlife enthusiasts alleged that poor management by department and negligence of forest personnel on duty are to blame for rampant poaching activities.
On December 14 last year, two constables of Odisha police serving in Sahadevkhunta police station of Balasore district were arrested for poaching in the core area of Similipal Tiger Reserve. A country made gun along with carcass of a barking deer had been seized from their possession.
Few days later on December 29, forest officials had seized 10 kg of deer meat near Godipokhari-Sansole from a poacher. As per forest department sources, in Kaptipada range under Baripada Wildlife Division, one elephant has been killed in 2018, three in 2019 and one in 2020.