A notorious poacher who is believed to have killed roughly 70 rare Bengal tigers has finally been captured by police in Bangladesh after eluding them for about 20 years.
Habib Talukdar, known by his nickname “Tiger Habib” for his infamous hunting skills, had been on the lam for decades, say local authorities.
The legendary poacher had been operating in the Sundarbans mangrove forests along the India-Bangladesh border and has topped “Most Wanted” lists by police and forestry officers.
However, any time that police officers raided the area to nab him, the 50-year-old Talukder managed to fade into the shadows.
“We equally respect him and are scared of him,” said local honey hunter Abdus Salam “He’s a dangerous man who could fight alone with [tigers] inside the forest.”
On June 1, however, Talukder was captured at his home in the Madhya Sonatola village located in the Madhya Sonatola village which straddles the forest.
“He secretly entered the Sundarbans and hunted wild animals despite being banned from entering the forest long ago,” Sharankhola Station Officer Md Abdul Mannan told Dhaka Tribune.
“He has been carrying out these criminal activities even though there are multiple cases against him,” Mannan added. “Some powerful gangs are involved in this … He was on the run for a long time.”
Bengal tigers are highly coveted by black market traders who benefit from the trafficking of their pelts, bones and flesh across the globe, reports BBC.
There are under 4,000 Royal Bengal tigers left in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Foundation.
Talukder alone was a menace to the region’s wildlife, authorities say. His capture should provide some relief to caretakers of the local fauna.
“He was a big headache for us. He posed a great threat to the forest’s biodiversity,” regional forest conservation officer Mainuddin Khan told AFP.
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