Forest officials on Sunday arrested a five-member gang engaged in hunting a sambar deer in the reserve forest near the Ranipuram tourist resort, 41 km from Kanhangad.
On a tip off, the officials laid a trap and arrested the poaching gang from the upstream of the tourist resort around 5 a.m., Range Forest Officer G. Pradeep said.
The arrested persons were identified as Reju Baby (34), Joseph Abraham (51), T.T. Johson (42), T.J. Joseph alias Kochu, and Jobi John (24). The deer, weighing around 150 kg, was found to be pregnant, Mr. Pradeep said.
The officials also confiscated two unlicensed country-made guns, five rounds, and two knives from their possession.
Shot in head
Joby John, who was riding a ‘pilot' motorbike, to provide tip off to the poachers on any impending danger, was arrested first. The officials also impounded a jeep which was used to ferry the dead deer, which had gunshot wounds on its head.
The forest official squad included Kasaragod Range Forest Officer M. Rajeevan, Kanhangad Range Forest Officer G. Pradeep, foresters S.N. Rajesh, V.V. Rajagopal, and M. Keshavan.