Valpoi: In a major breakthrough in the recent case of tiger killings in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary, the forest department on Tuesday recovered the missing claws of a tiger whose carcass was found near Golavli of Thane-Dongurli village panchayat in Sattari taluka.
A forest department official said that 14 claws of the tiger carcass that was first found on January 5 have been recovered from a temple premises in Golavli.
It may be noted that four tigers were found dead near Golavli village recently. The tigers were allegedly poisoned by the locals to protect the livestock. There were speculations of a poaching angle in the killings. Forest officials on Tuesday recovered all the claws of the first tiger.
Investigating officer Nandkumar Parab said that some unknown person had kept the claws in a temple at Golavli on Monday midnight.
“I along with my team was in Golavli village for last 2-3 days and as a part of investigation, we had summoned few suspects from the village. Meanwhile, on Tuesday morning, my staff was informed by the temple priest (who regularly offers prayers at the temple) that some suspicious thing packed in a black polythene bag was found in the temple premises at around 6:30 am,” informed Parab who said that his team reached the spot and after preliminary observation they were certain that the bag contained tiger claws.
“We informed Valpoi PI Shivram Vaingankar and sought assistance of sniffer dogs which were provided to us and at 1.30 pm, dogs squad arrived at the spot,” Parab said.
He further said that sniffer dogs led the forest officials to the spot where a pit was dug up in a private property at Golavli village.
“We have recovered all fourteen claws of first tiger which were missing. Investigation is on and more people will be summoned to nab the person who has removed the claws and hid them,” told Parab.
Further investigation is on and forest officials are confident of nabbing the person who hid the tiger claws. Earlier, five villagers from the Pawane family were arrested for poisoning and killing four tigers in Mhadei wildlife sanctuary.
Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Valpoi had on Friday granted bail to all the five accused. They have been asked to report to the Valpoi police inspector for nine days.