In connection with the seizure of a tiger skin five persons including three tribals were arrested by officials of the Nilgiris North Forest division on Wednesday.
Tracing the sequence of events that led to the arrest, the Field Director, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Rajiv K.Srivastava and the District Forest Officer, the Nilgiris North K. Soundarapandian told The Hindu that based on information relating to activities of wildlife offenders vigil had been stepped up in areas abutting Mudumalai.
Surveillance had been mounted by forest wildlife officials and an intelligence network put in place sometime ago.
It paid rich dividends with the department being tipped off that the movements of some persons in Masinagudy and Bokkapuram were arousing suspicion.
A special squad headed by Assistant Conservator of Forests Nagarajan was formed to track the movements of the suspected offenders.
Within a few hours the squad nabbed the five persons who hailed from Anaikatty, Mavanhallah, Masinagudy etc and seized the skin of a sub adult tiger aged about three years.
Pointing out that the culprits were suspected to be poachers, they said that a search was on for two more persons.
Since the spot where they were caught was very close to the Karnataka border senior officials from that state were also assisting in the investigations. Patrolling has been intensified.