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Dhaka Tribune

Deer poaching on the rise in the Sundarbans

Police say their drives against forest robbers and poachers will continue

Update : 20 Jul 2018, 01:17 PM

Deer poaching in the Sundarbans’ Satkhira range has increased at an alarming rate.

In separate drives in July, the Forest Department and Bangladesh Coast Guard arrested two poachers, recovered three dead deer, three single barrel pistols, and a boat. But the poaching ring leaders are nowhere to be found.

According to the Forest Department, forest robbers are less active now, but the deer poaching gangs have become more desperate in the Sundarbans and its vicinity.

Deer meat or venison is regularly sold in many villages of Shyamnagar upazila, and the trend is on the rise.

Nevertheless, the Forest Department says their drives against deer poaching and hunting continue.

Locals said people happily buy venison at Tk500 to Tk600 per kg.

Although the authorities have a list of identified deer hunters and meat traders, the administration does not take any action against them, locals say.

There are allegations that poachers are in business with the collusion of some staff, both at the Forest Department and local administration.

A source, declining to be named, said the godfather of the deer poachers is a local millionaire and shrimp trader who often goes out on his own trawler to hunt deer.

He even takes care of his poachers if they are arrested, say locals.

On July 9, a gang went poaching for deer in the Chunkuri area of the Sundarbans, accompanied by a sub-inspector and several constables of Shyamnagar police station according to locals.

After news of the incident spread on social media, a case was filed against six people with Shyamnagar police station.

Rafiq Ahmed, a Satkhira Range forest officer, said no one from the Forest Department took bribes. "If any evidence is found, stern action will be taken against them," he added.

"Security measures have been strengthened by increasing patrols in the area," said the forest official, adding, "We've recovered three dead deer and arrested two hunters."

Syed Mannan Ali, officer-in-charge of Shyamnagar police station, said their drives against forest robbers and poachers will continue.

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