Andhra Pradesh

Forest officials seize 414 live Indian Star Tortoises; two from Odisha arrested in East Godavari

Gokavaram forest officials seize 414 Indian Star Tortoises in East Godavari district. Photo: Special arrangement.  

The Forest Department authorities on Monday seized as many as 414 live endangered Indian Star Tortoises from a gang that was smuggling from Samalkota area in East Godavari district to Malkangiri district in Odisha State by a van.

The Gokavaram Forest Range staff led by Forest Ranger V. Durga Kumar Babu nabbed the gang during the raid on the gang near the Burugupudi forest check post in the East Godavari district in the early hours of Monday.

Mr. Duga Kumar Babu told The Hindu: “The two members transporting the 414 Indian Start Tortoises in a van have been arrested. They have identified as S. Sali and Viswajeet Mandal of Odisha State. The tortoises will be released into river Godavari as they are alive”.

“The cases under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 have been registered against them as smuggling of the Indian Star Tortoise attracts punishment under the Schedule-1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The duo have been produced before a local court and investigation is on to nab the other accused involved in the illegal trade”, said Mr. Durga Kumar Babu.

The tortoises are being exported to Odisha State for ‘consumption’ purpose as per the preliminary investigation. In the end of 2020, the Gokavaram forest range officials have busted a gang that was smuggling 437 Indian Star Tortoises in the East Godavari district and they were caught while smuggling to the Odisha State.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 11:21:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/forest-officials-seize-414-live-indian-star-tortoises-two-from-odisha-arrested-in-east-godavari/article33601312.ece

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