Bangladesh – Tiger killer arrested after 20 years on the run

PostedMay 31, 2021, 2:29 p.m.

In Bangladesh, police arrested a poacher wanted for nearly 20 years in the south of the country, where he allegedly killed around 70 Bengal tigers, an endangered species.

In 2019, there were only 114 Bengal tigers left in the Sunderbans, a large region in southern Bangladesh.

AFP – Bangladesh Forest Department

Habib Talukder was considered a “legend” in southern Bangladesh, for a reason not very bright: he would have killed nearly 70 Bengal tigers. However, the species is protected.

The fifty-year-old poacher, nicknamed “Bagh Shikari” (tiger hunter), has just been arrested by the police, after having “played hide and seek” for twenty years. He was “difficult” to catch, because he lived on the edge of a forest in which he fled every time the police raided, said Monday, the local police chief, Saidur Rahman.

“We had been trying to corner him for a long time. A tip finally allowed us to achieve this and send him to prison, ”said the officer.

Skin, bone, flesh at a gold price

He had chosen for his hunting ground the mangroves of the Sunderbans, in the south of the country, which stretch over 10,000 km, from India to Bangladesh, and are home to one of the largest populations of Bengal tigers in the world. .

The poacher began his career by collecting honey in the forest, before hunting the big cat whose skin, bones and even flesh sell for a high price on the black market. “We respect him as much as we fear him,” admits Honey-beggar Abdus Salam. “He’s a dangerous man, able to fight on his own with Mama (the tiger) in the forest.”

114 Bengal tigers in 2019

The DBangladesh’s forest department numbered only 106 Bengal tigers in 2015, up from 440 specimens in 2004. By 2019, the population had increased to 114 individuals, thanks to a strong crackdown on poaching and banditry in the region.

For the regional conservator of forests, Mainuddin Khan, the news of the arrest of this criminal is a “relief”. “It was giving us serious headaches,” he said, “it was a big threat to the biodiversity of the forest.”

(AFP)

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