Notorious tiger poacher is finally snared after 20 years
Notorious tiger poacher who is thought to have killed 70 endangered beasts in Bangladesh forest is finally snared after 20-year hunt
- Habib Talukder – nicknamed Tiger Habib – was caught early on Saturday morning
- The 50-year-old is suspected of killing as many as 70 endangered Bengal tigers
- He hunted in the vast Sundarbans mangrove forest region on the Indian border
- Tiger pelts, bones and even flesh can be sold lucratively on the black market
A notorious tiger poacher thought to have killed some 70 endangered cats has been arrested in Bangladesh after a 20-year hunt.
Local police chief Saidur Rahman said that Habib Talukder – nicknamed Tiger Habib – lived next to a forest and would flee whenever officers raided the area.
‘Acting on a tip-off, we finally succeeded and sent him to jail,’ Rahman told AFP news agency.
Talukder’s hunting ground was the vast Sundarbans mangrove forest region straddling India and Bangladesh.
The site is home to one of the world’s largest populations of Bengal tigers. The species is endangered, with only a few thousand estimated to remain in the wild.
The cats’ pelts, bones and even flesh would be bought by black market traders who would sell them in China and elsewhere.
A notorious tiger poacher thought to have killed some 70 endangered cats has been arrested in Bangladesh after a 20-year hunt [Stock image]
Talukder, 50, started out collecting honey from wild bees in the forest but became a local legend for avoiding arrest as he began hunting tigers.
‘We equally respect him and are scared of him,’ local honey hunter Abdus Salam said.
‘He’s a dangerous man who could fight alone with Mama (tiger) inside the forest.’
Sharankhola Station Officer Md Abdul Mannan told The Dhaka Tribune that Habib was listed as a most wanted fugitive by both police and the Forest Department.
‘He secretly entered the Sundarbans and hunted wild animals despite being banned from entering the forest long ago. He has been carrying out these criminal activities even though there are multiple cases against him… some powerful gangs are involved in this,’ he said
Local media reported that Talukder was arrested in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Bengal tigers are unique among big cats in being able to live and hunt in the brackish water of the mangrove forests, and are adept swimmers [Stock image]
Bengal tigers are unique among big cats in being able to live and hunt in the brackish water of the mangrove forests, and are adept swimmers.
According to the Bangladesh Forest Department, the Bengal tiger population fell to a record low of 106 in 2015 from 440 in 2004.
As of 2019, the population had crept up to 114 thanks to a crackdown on poaching and banditry in the region.
Regional forest conservation officer Mainuddin Khan said that the news of Talukder’s arrest had brought ‘sighs of relief’.
‘He was a big headache for us. He posed a great threat to the forest’s biodiversity,’ he told AFP.
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