SILIGURI - Forest officials seized 46 Indian soft shell turtles from two smugglers in Siliguri.
Baikunthapur Wildlife-2 department officials intercepted a car transporting the rare turtles after receiving a tip off. The turtles were found hidden in two bags.
Two persons have been arrested in the case. Officials said the accused revealed during the interrogation that they planned to smuggle the turtles to Nepal.
“As per the statement of accused, they were bringing those turtles from Bihar. It is for supply to Nepal via Siliguri where it is used as medicine and for eating also,” said Manindra Kumar Biswas, a forest conservator.
There is a huge demand for rare species of turtles in the international market. They are used as pets and also serve as a delicacy.
India has banned the trade of turtles under the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act, but the huge premium and lax laws are increasingly luring poachers to the trade. (ANI)