Snake smugglers snared in Uttar Pradesh

October 27th, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Oct 27 (IANS) Seven people were caught smuggling out a rare species of snakes from Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district to Nepal, a forest official said Monday.”Acting on a tip-off, we nabbed the smugglers Sunday midnight in Mihinpurwa village in Bahraich, about 270 km from Lucknow,” Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) R.K. Singh told IANS.

“Several red boya snakes, a rare species, were seized from the seven smugglers, who claimed that the skin of each snake fetched nearly Rs.200,000 in international markets,” Singh said.

Several species of snakes including the red boya snakes are found in the Kakraha forest of Bahraich.

“The colour of these snakes is close to crimson and they have two mouths,” Singh said.

The red boya snakes are around three and a half feet long.

The smugglers, who are being interrogated, have admitted that they are part of an animal trade racket that operates from Nepal, forest officials said.

Under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972, it is illegal to injure, catch, or own snakes.

Snakes come under the Schedule I and IV of the WPA and keeping them in captivity is an offence.

Snakes can only be exhibited in a zoo where they have to be kept as per rules framed by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).

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