Redhakhol : Two wildlife poachers were arrested and forwarded to court for killing a leopard and burning the skin and head of the animal in a bid to destroy evidence at Saradhapur village under Rairakhol forest division in the district on Monday.
The accused have been identified as Ajit Nayak (32) and Chaitanya Kujur (35). The forest department has registered a case with the arrest of the accused, Rairakhol DFO Ramakant Naik said
The DFO informed that forest department officials were tipped off about the killing of the leopard by the poachers in Saradhapur reserve forest. After poaching the animal, they had brought the skin and chopped head to the home.
A special team of forest officials was prepared to raid them. However, the accused got a clue about the crackdown.
In a bid to destroy evidence, they burnt the skin and head of the leopard cat in the forest.
Being informed from reliable sources, the team rushed to the spot and recovered the half-burnt skeletal remains of the animal and arrested them.
Two others involved in the crime are absconding. Efforts are on to nab them soon, officials said.
A case has been registered against them under Wildlife Protection Act and other relevant sections, they added.