Are there poachers, that poach poachers?
In April 2009, police discovered 10 single-barrelled muzzle guns (SBMGs) with several rounds of poison-tipped bullets from a farmhouse on the boundary of Nameri national Park in the Sonitpur area.
Naba Bora, the leader of the Jamugurihat police, said, “Just one of these bullets could kill an elephant or rhino with one shot, regardless of where it hit”. Normally, poachers must hit an animal through the head or in the chest, where its vital organs are, Even if the shot doesn’t kill the animal, the wound from the bullet becomes infected and still causes the death of that animal. When a bullet is combined with poison, just one bullet could kill the animal by poisoning within 10 minutes.
The use of poison bullets isn’t very common to the police and that makes it hard to track the poachers, although poison has been used in hunting since ancient times, with poison darts being used to hunt small prey. If a poacher kills an elephant or rhino with the poison bullets, they will then hack off the horn or tusks, leaving the poisoned carcass behind. Other animals would then feed on the carcass, which means they, too, would become poisoned and die.
“It is a well-knit gang of poachers with international connections,” said Naba Bora. He also said that most of the gang members are from Nagaland and Manipur.
“The gang has local connections and charts out its plans at these small farmhouses on the fringes of the park,” he said.
If all things stay true, and the gang is made of international people, it could be nearly impossible to track the weapons back to the poachers.