KATHMANDU, Feb 5: The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) on Monday arrested Bhupesh Ghale aka Roshan, 33 of Khanigaun VDC-7, Nuwakot District, from a hotel located at Bidur Municipality, on the charge of possessing skin of endangered red panda.
CIB was able to arrest Ghale following a tip off from the locals who informed that he was searching for customers to to sell the skin. According to the Superintendent of Police Ishwar Babu Karki, the accused has been sent to District Forest Office (DFO), Nuwakot for further investigation.
Red panda is found only in countries like Nepal, China, Bhutan, Burma and Laos. In Nepal, red pandas are found in Langtang, Makalu, Sagarmatha and Rara national parks as well as in the Kanchanjungha and Annapurna conservation areas. Red panda population in Nepal stands at around 100.
They are found only in the height of above 1,525 meters. Their number has been declining because of growing poaching and poor law enforcement, according to police.
As per the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973, those convicted of poaching endangered red panda face imprisonment between 5 and 15 years or a fine between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1,00,000 or both.
According to IUCN, red panda population in the world is around 10,000.