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Three held with leopard skins

Dehradun, July 7 (Calcutta Tube) Three people were arrested with leopard skins and bones in Dehradun in Uttarakhand, an official said Wednesday.

In a joint operation of the Uttarakhand Forest Department and the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), three leopard skins were seized from Vikasnagar and Kalsi area of Dehradun.

‘Bullet holes were found on the skins. It is believed the animals were killed in the nearby forests of Vikasnagar and Kalsi,’ a WPSI official said in New Delhi.

Forest officials are looking for a poacher who allegedly shot the animals.

The number of leopards is dwindling fast. In 2008, there were about 12,000 leopards in India.

‘Poaching of leopards for their body parts is the primary reason for their declining numbers. Of the 202 leopard deaths reported in the country so far this year, 50 percent involved either seizure of body parts or death due to poaching,’ the official said.

The highest number of 65 leopard deaths have been reported this year from Uttarakhand alone.

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