Two smugglers arrested with leopard hide in Hamirpur

Shimla: Two smugglers were arrested with a leopard hide in Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh, police said on Saturday.

The two belong to Hamirpur and Kangra districts and told the police that they found the leopard skin in the Balarha forest. “They had fixed a deal to sell the hide for Rs 2.5 lakh,” a polic

e official said.

Hamirpur divisional forest officer LC Vandana said wildlife officials had caught the two and handed them over to the police. The wildlife officials suspect them of having killed the animal, too. Investigation is on.

In 2005, the state had an estimated 760 leopards with Hamirpur district having the highest number. Their number has since gone up. Barring the tribal areas in the Himalayan region, leopards are found in good density throughout the state.