Sambalpur: Five suspected poachers have been arrested from Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha's Bargarh district early on Friday, a forest official said.

The poachers entered the wildlife sanctuary late on Wednesday for hunting sambar deer and bison for their horns and skin, he said.

Acting on a tip-off, an 18-member night patrol team apprehended the suspects near Ushakothi area under Hirakud Wildlife Division. A sambar horn, an axe, wire traps and motorcycles were seized from them.

Debrigarh has a significant population of leopard, bison, wild boar, sambhar, peacock and chousingha or the four-horned antelope.

Interrogation of the poachers and data analysis of their mobile phones revealed that they were regularly involved in the trade of wildlife skin, horn and hair. The body parts of the animals are smuggled mostly to neighbouring Chhattisgarh, the official said, adding that further investigation was underway.—PTI

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