Six alleged poachers were killed in the Sundarbans National Park in Bangladesh on Sunday after a raid by local police. Three adult Bengal tiger skins were found at the poachers’ camp, along with incriminating weapons. The country has intensified its takedown measures against poaching after researchers found a dramatic drop in the prevalence of Bengals in the wild – an estimated 106, down from 440, according to new census data.

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Police chief Harendranath Sarker describes the deadly confrontation, “The poachers first fired at us as we raided their den at Mandarbaria canal in the forest. We fired back. Six poachers were killed in the gunfight.” Law enforcement has been paying close attention to poaching activity in the area, where poachers are said to sell tiger skins, bones, and meat for high prices.

Related: Bangladesh’s abundant tiger population has collapsed to just 100

Bengal tigers live mainly in India, with smaller populations found in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, and China. A 2004 census in Bangladesh’s portion of the Sundarbans forest – the world’s largest mangrove forest and one of the most biologically productive ecosystems – counted the Bengal population at 440, yet wildlife experts say the area could not hold more than 200 tigers. A recent year-long study claims that the number may be closer to 106.

Times have become critical for wildlife around the world and law enforcement are increasingly demonstrating zero tolerance for violence against them.

Via Yahoo! News

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