Over 400 tortoises seized in Jharkhand

November 14th, 2007 - 10:29 am ICT by admin  
Following a tip off, the police seized tortoises packed in eight sacks from a car. However, the driver of the car managed to escape.

“The vehicle we brought it to the police station was filled with tortoise,” said Jeetendra Kumar, officer in-charge of Govindpur Police Station.

Police said the amphibians were smuggled from Benaras.

Forest officials said the guilty would be nabbed after investigation report.

“It is an offence under wild life protection Act. We will find the people involved in the case and then nab the whole network,” said Sanjeev Kumar, District Forest officer (DFO) of Dhanbad district.

The trade of tortoises is barred under the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act, but the huge premium and lax laws are increasingly luring poachers to the trade.

There is a huge demand for these rare species of tortoises, having distinct star marks on their shells, in the international market. They are used as pets and served as a delicacy in the western countries.

The rare species are land-dwelling and feed on succulent materials. Most of them are found in semi-arid zones in the southern and northwestern parts of the country. (ANI)

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