Guj: 34 suspected poachers held after lion cub found in snare

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Junagadh, Feb 4 (PTI) A day after a lion cub was found trapped in a snare in Gir-Somnath district of Gujarat, 34 suspected poachers were nabbed by the forest department on Thursday, an official said.

A total of 38 persons have been arrested so far after a lion cub was found trapped in a snare on the outskirts of Prachi village on Wednesday, said Chief Conservator of Forest K Ramesh.

Animal bones, meat and choppers as well as snares were seized from their possession, he said, adding that the snares were not big enough to trap full-grown lions.

The accused hunted smaller animals like jackals and rabbits whose body parts are used to make traditional medicines, usually sold in roadside tents, he said.

'We also found a jackal trapped in a snare in the same area on Wednesday. We then nabbed four suspects from Junagadh when they were trying to flee and learnt about the involvement of several others,' Ramesh told reporters.

On Thursday, around 500 forest officials scanned the entire lion habitat in Saurashtra region and found 17 more snares, he said, adding that 34 persons, suspected to be poachers, were nabbed from Bhavnagar area during the operation.

The suspects were booked under the Wildlife Protection Act and will be produced before a court on Friday, he said.