On Tuesday evening, the ranger along with his team was on patrol in the park, when the group came under heavy fire from a group of six heavily armed poachers. According to reports, the deputy ranger fell to the poachers' bullets and died on the spot, while three forest guards fared slightly better and are now in hospital with bullet injuries.
"We saw that they had captured two of our guards but before we could engage them, they opened fire," informed a forest guard.
Usually armed only with sticks, the guards are often outgunned and out manned by better-organized gangs of poachers. Also with close to 1000 square miles to cover, guarding the forested park is a difficult task.
Poaching increases during the monsoon season when the park closes for visitors. In fact, the guards were part of "operation monsoon" aimed at catching poachers.
Early this year, eight male elephants were found dead with their tusks removed. But despite increased patrolling, five guards within Corbett were beaten up a few days ago by suspected poachers. Yesterday's incident again demonstrates that unless the government improves resources, India's wildlife and its protectors will continue to fall prey to poachers.
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