Mizoram police seize 24 exotic animals, two held

Smuggled in from Myanmar, the animals were destined for Tripura’s capital Agartala

Published - May 31, 2024 02:43 am IST - GUWAHATI

GUWAHATI

The Mizoram police seized 24 exotic animals and arrested two people, both residents of Tripura, for smuggling wildlife on Thursday.

The exotic animals – 18 snakes, four turtles, and two monkeys – were smuggled from Myanmar and were destined for Tripura’s capital Agartala, a Mizoram police spokesperson said.

“The animals were found in a maxi-cab intercepted at Kanhmun (on the Mizoram-Tripura border). The vehicle commutes between Aizawl and Agartala,” he said.

The police arrested the vehicle’s driver, 32-year-old Chawngthangmawia, a resident of Amarpur in Tripura’s Gomati district. He said one Binoi Molsom handed him the consignment of exotic animals at a bus stand in Aizawl and asked him to deliver them in Agartala.

The police later arrested the 34-year-old Molsom, a resident of North Tripura district, at Sairang near Aizawl. The exotic animals were handed over to a Mizoram Forest Department officer at Kanhmun, the spokesperson said.

“We are interrogating the two arrested persons to obtain more details,” he added.

Mizoram has been a conduit for smugglers of exotic animals from Myanmar to destinations such as Siliguri in northern West Bengal, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu through southern Assam’s Barak Valley and Meghalaya. More than 300 such animals – mostly albino pythons, parakeets, kangaroos, and turtles – have been seized over the last five years.

Assam-based biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak, Youth for Environment Justice Mizoram, and Tripura-based Centre for Aquatic Research and Environment recently urged authorities across the northeast to care for and rehabilitate the animals after their recovery.

They said smuggled, endangered and exotic animals should be kept in proper quarantine with proper diet according to the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority, but this is not happening in most cases.

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