‘Poacher’ Cast And Character Guide

Created by Richie Mehta, the immersive crime drama Poacher covers the untold story of poaching and illegal trading of ivory all over the world. This eight-part crime thriller, streaming on Amazon Prime, is focused on highlighting the real-life mission, Operation Shikar, which successfully uncovered the largest ring of illegal poachers in India. This series is focused on the quest of forest officials to unveil the illegal racket that had been killing countless elephants for their tusks in the forests of Kerala. The wonderful cast has managed to add an extra charm to the presentation of the series. 


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Nimisha Sajayan as Mala, a Forest Department Officer, has a strong foothold throughout the series. Being an animal lover, she is strongly opposed to the idea of illegal hunting and wants to break the poaching ring as soon as possible. She jumps to action when her superior, Neel, assigns her the case. She had been an animal lover since her childhood, causing her to go against her own father, as he was a poacher. She never followed in the footsteps of her father and instead grew up to become an honest forest officer so that she could protect nature and wildlife. 

Mala had no mercy for the criminals, which has been revealed through her approach to the case and the smugglers, leaving no stone unturned to find them. She could have been killed while she was locked alone in a room with Poyya, but she did not fear death, as she put her duty even above her own life. Mala is an extremely hardworking officer, which becomes evident when she faints from exhaustion. Her love for animals was so deep that she did not even think about her mother before putting herself at risk. 


Mala’s presence of mind was seen when she tried persuading Poonam Verma to cooperate with the police by portraying herself as a corrupt police official to her. She did not hesitate to put her own reputation at stake to help the wild animals. Mala was paying for the sins of her father. He had killed many wild animals when she was just a child. When her mother told her that her father had poached to put food on the table, she said that starving would’ve been better than filling their stomach with innocent animals’ blood and tears. Her sympathy for animals is further revealed when her eyes fill up after seeing the carcasses of dead elephants in the forest. She had been determined to catch the monsters who had taken away their lives so brutally. 


Roshan Mathew, as Alan Joseph, had been leading a dual life in the series Poacher. He was torn between his duties as a computer programmer, a volunteer for the forest officials, and a family man. He was unable to explain to his wife the love that he had for wildlife and would often be reprimanded for not being able to be there for his family when they needed him. On several occasions, Alan was often insulted by his family for not doing anything special in his life, despite his degrees. However, the fact that he was helping the forest officers in the poaching case had been kept a secret. He did not want to buy a good reputation for himself in exchange for exposing his secret operation.


Alan was a useful resource who proved to be more loyal to the team than any of the forest officers. Alan had always been interested in wildlife, which is brought out through his expertise in identifying snakes and helping locals recover from snake bites. Alan had diverse skills and also proved useful as he helped Neel’s team find out the call logs of all the poachers. He was a main part of the investigation team and helped them get hold of some of the big names in the racket. 

When Alan was unable to deal with a dual life, he tried explaining his aspirations and dreams to his wife. He took her to the forest to see the beautiful sight of fireflies lighting up the place. She was extremely happy to see the sight, and that is exactly when Alan told her that he wanted to preserve the beauty of the forest and hence had been working on a secret mission to conserve wildlife. He tried to explain his own limitations to his wife in a very unique manner, which portrays the fact that despite staying away from her, he was a romantic at heart and aspired to see a better future with her. Later, after the case was solved, he took his family to see the carcasses of the elephants that had been murdered, so that they would understand the intensity of the situation and not blame him for not having enough time for them. 



The role of Chief wildlife warden and Field Director, Neel, has been efficiently played by Dibyendu Bhattacharya. He is the mastermind behind the operation to catch the illegal poachers. Having a lung tumor, he was unable to engage in excessive field work but held all the juniors’ hands through the difficult routes to guide them in the mission. He knew that it was too late for him to dream of a better future, but he wanted to make sure that the next generation would breathe fresh air. He was hell-bent on saving the forest and wanted to make sure that before retiring, he could put all the culprits behind bars. He even went to the extent of hiding his ailment from his family so that they wouldn’t stop him from working for a few more days. Neel thought that if he retired, then some corrupt officer might take his place, and the culprits would get away with their crimes.  

Neel was selfless enough to think about the next generation rather than just focusing on himself. He was extremely dedicated to his work, which resulted in a growing distance between him and his family. Alan was somewhat treading on a similar path as that of Neel, which made him obsessed with his work, creating a gap with his family. Neel knew that he had limited time and a lot to do! He tirelessly tried to save the forest, never giving up on his goals and responsibilities. 



Sapna Sand as Poonam Verma is the formidable antagonist in Poacher. She bought ivory in the name of art dealing and sold it to people all over the country and even in international markets. People like Poonam are the real parasites who have been feeding off of natural reserves and wildlife. She had been using poachers like Raaz to fulfill her own selfish interests of rising up the social ladder by illegal measures. Mala had rightly stated that people like Poonam were the ‘real monsters’ who were luring poachers with some money. 

Poonam’s vileness is brought to the forefront when, even at the last moment before her arrest, she tried bribing Mala to avoid incarceration. She was clever enough to stuff her workshop with fake plastic items so that when the police came, they would not get their hands on the real ivory. She was also reluctant to travel from Delhi to Kerala as she knew that she would be arrested by the Kerala government for illegal trading of ivory. Upon being questioned about the case, she initially refused to open her mouth, but when the police threatened her with putting her daughter on the charge sheet, she spoke up. As per her words, more than 360 kilos of ivory were discovered at her home in Delhi. Poonam did not think twice before laying her dirty hands on the innocent animals and killing them to get a financial boost for herself. 


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Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti’s obsession with creativity and travel fervor has helped her branch out into the entertainment genre. Her love for psychological thrillers helps her get a daily dose of adrenaline. A regular caricature of the films and its characters is what keeps her going!

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