A man known as one of the India's most notorious poachers has been arrested after being on the run for six years.
It took about almost a dozen failed attempts before Madhya Pradesh Forest Department's Special Task Force could lay their hands on Jasrat alias Yarlen alias Luzalen, one of India's most notorious bear and tiger poachers.
While much is heard about his weird liking for bear genitals, foresters say that was just incidental in the chain of crimes. It is a common belief among the tribes in the region that male organs of the bears are a great aphrodisiac.
Yarlen came on the radar of forest officials after rangers found several carcasses of sloth bears with missing genitals. There are rumours that he killed the bears to be able to eat their genitals.
Yarlen was wanted for two cases of sloth bear killing and one case of tiger poaching in Madhya Pradesh and three other cases of tiger poaching in Maharashtra. He was caught early in 2014, Special Task Force chief Nitesh Sirothia said.
After his first arrest in a poaching case, he was let off on bail by the High Court in Maharashtra because the quantum of punishment was much less in those cases - just seven years. He vanished after being granted bail.
Officials tracked him to a small hamlet in Gujarat, said Sirothia.
Among other things recovered from his possession were a number of Aadhaar cards and three fake voter IDs. The poacher also told officers how he managed to evade the law all these years. He moved from village to village and managed to avoid suspicion by bribing village heads with boars.
He admitted to killing a number of tigers and sloth bears along with peacocks and wild boars. Yarlen was a major supplier in the international black market.
However, investigators are still trying to establish his supply line beyond Delhi or across the border. He even hunted a number of wild animals for businessmen.
With Yarlen's arrest, the STF has also solved the mystery of tigress T13's death. Last seen on trap camera in Raikassa area of Pench in February 2012, the tigress' skin was found in Nepal a year later.
First arrested in 2014 along with his uncle, Yarlen is likely to be charged with multiple violations of the Wildlife Protection Act. Not just tigers but sloth bears are also protected under Indian laws as they are listed as 'vulnerable species' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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