A 50-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday for killing a crocodile to consume its meat in Mettupalayam near here.
On seeing the forest department staff, the duo tried to run away. However, the staff managed to nab one of them, identified as Rajan alias Palanisamy from Pallivasal Street in Periyur.
Inquiries revealed that Rajan and his accomplice Mariappan (60) were fishing in the Bhavani when the crocodile was trapped in their net.
“With a plan to consume its meat, the duo was removing its skin, but got caught,” said a forest department official.
A case has been registered under Section 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, which prohibits any act of hunting of wild animals. Rajan was produced in Mettupalayam court and was remanded in judicial custody for 15 days.
Forest Range Officer, Sirumugai Range EN Manoharan, said that crocodiles, which come under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, were poached out of misconception that its meat has medicinal properties and cures ailments.
“Even if crocodiles were caught in the net of fishermen, they should be released back in the waters. In this regard, the forest department has also decided to create awareness among the fisher folk,” he said.