Wildlife smugglers caught, 330 live turtles seized

Anti-poaching squad of the Forest Department has nabbed two persons allegedly involved in wildlife smuggling on Saturday and confiscated hundreds of live turtles from them.

Acting upon reliable information, a team led by District Forest Officer (Vigilance) M. Raja Ramana Reddy nabbed Shiv Balak and Rahul Kashyap, both hailing from Lucknow, and recovered 330 live turtles from them, which belong to species Assam Roofed Turtles also known as Sylhet Roofed Turtle and Indian Tent Turtle, which fall under Schedule-I of the Wildlife Act.

On further enquiry, it came out that the turtles were collected from Gomti river in Uttar Pradesh by their accomplices who transferred them to Hyderabad by train for sale to prospective buyers. The accused are involved in such activities regularly, and on several earlier occasions, sold the turtles at the rate of ₹400 per pair.

Aquarium or pet shop owners who buy these turtles were unaware of their conservation status, and assume that they are the exotic varieties such as Singapore Turtles or Green Turtles. However, once the reptiles attain adulthood, they are abandoned into the local water bodies, the note said.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 10:51:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/wildlife-smugglers-caught-330-live-turtles-seized/article35656408.ece

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