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Recently, West Bengal forest officials seized a huge cache of endangered wild buffalo horns. A total of 627 horns was found concealed underneath 16.8 tonnes of coal from a truck.
Trade of skin and other animal body parts continue to be a potential threat to the survival of wild buffalo, which are estimated to be less than 4000 in the wild.
Historically found across north India bordering Nepal, east and central India, the wild buffalo is currently found in the northeastern states and in Chhattisgarh.
Wild buffaloes already face severe threats due to habitat destruction, disease transmission and competition from domestic livestock among others. If trade is established as a threat, then this is serious and alarming.
The wild buffalo is listed under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, that mandates a punishment of three to seven years imprisonment for poaching and trade.