Wildlife hunters arrested

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The Polonnaruwa Wildlife Office said eight people were arrested, along with hunting equipment and two guns, yesterday (8) for trespassing into the Flood Plains National Park Polonnaruwa, going hunting in the Alanchipatana and killing and burning two pangolins, a rabbit, and a porcupine, and fishing at night.

Five hunters had escaped  after shooting and wounding an endangered pangolin. The pangolin was saved after being handed over to the Giritale Wildlife Veterinary Hospital.

According to Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) officer W. W. Kumarasiri Wijeyakoon, the arrested suspects are 50 to 60-year-old residents of Muthugala, Senapura, Alinchipatana.

The arrested suspects were found in possession of two locally-made guns, ammunition, drugs used to kill fish, and illegal nets. Wildlife officials stated that a net used to kill and burn animals, as well as other equipment, were seized.

According to the wildlife officials, who are conducting the investigation, information has been revealed that these suspects have been entering the reserves for a long time to hunt, eat the meat, and sell the rest to village traders in the area.

During our investigation, Wijeyakoon stated that the arrested suspects, along with the equipment, guns, and all case items, would to be produced before the Polonnaruwa Magistrate’s Court.

BY Nimal Jayaratne – Manampitiya