Indian police are searching for poachers who broke into a zoo in the northeastern part of the country who were responsible for the brutal killing of a female tiger.
“The poachers cut the tigress into pieces but could not take them away as the guards had returned,” Itanagar zoo spokesperson Zoram Dopum told broadcaster NDTV.
Tiger poaching and the smuggling of body parts is common in India, as they are prized in China and in East Asia for their alleged medical properties.
According to the BBC, citing a recent census, there are around 1,700 tigers in India, a number greatly reduced from the 100,000 in the country a century ago.
Officials told the BBC that poachers had attempted to kill animals in the zoo before. In 2006, three tigers and one leopard were poisoned, with one of the tigers dying.
Currently, the Itanagar zoo has six big cats, and 200 animal species are housed there.Earlier this year, the western state of Maharashtra announced that the injuring or killing of suspected poachers would no longer be a crime. The move was announced to deter poachers from killing tigers and other animals.
Maharashtra Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam told The Associated Press at the time, that forest rangers will not be “booked for human rights violations when they have taken action against poachers.”
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