Of the nine people initially arrested for killing musk deer inside Sagarmatha National Park, five have been taken into custody for further investigation by the Solukhumbu district police office. The arrest was made with coordination between the police, locals and a community forest users group.
According to the vice-chair of the Khumbila users group Pema Chosang Sherpa, four individuals each were arrested from Ponche and Panchboche. Earlier, locals had arrested the first poacher and taken him to the police office in Namche.
6 musk deer killed by poachers during lockdown
On 27 April, six musk deer were found dead in Kanjuwa forest located in Pasang Lhamu rural municipality in one of the worst cases of wildlife poaching in the reserve below Mt Everest in recent years. The poachers had used the COVID-19 lockdown to make the killing.
The Himalayan musk deer is in the IUCN Endangered List, and is prized for the musk pouch found in the male of the species which fetch thousands of dollars in China and Korea, where they are used in traditional medicine, perfumery and cosmetics.
Of those arrested Bishnu Rai and Ramesh Rai were allegedly involved in illegal wildlife trade. Bishu Rai, who is a shopkeeper in Ponche had bought the musk for Rs50,000 before selling it for Rs70,000, according to Chosang Sherpa.