Leopard skin seized in Haryana, godman held

Feb 08, 2018, 21:51 IST | IANS

A leopard skin was seized from Haryana and a self-styled godman was arrested, officials said on Thursday

Representational picture

A leopard skin was seized from Haryana and a self-styled godman was arrested, officials said on Thursday. The pelt, five or six years old, was seized from Ram Das of Fatehpur Biloch village in Ballabhgarh in Haryana on Wednesday night by Forest Department officials and animal rights organisation Wildlife SOS.

The godman has been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

"The leopard skin was used by the baba as a bedsheet and a mat. It seems an old case of poaching," Conservator of Forest Vinod Kumar said.

Ram Das told officials that the leopard skin was bought through a middleman.

Poaching or possession of protected wildlife species is a punishable offence. If convicted, a person can be jailed for up to seven years.

The Indian leopard is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and is listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List.

Official records indicate at least 159 leopards were poached in 2017 and 127 in 2016.

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