Guwahati, March 24 (IANS) In a major success against wildlife trafficking, Assam Police and Forest officials on Saturday seized a huge consignment of exotic animals near here and arrested one person for his involvement in the crime.
The consignment includes several exotic wildlife species native to Africa and South America, such as five baboon vipers, one pair of albino African pythons, three marmosets, a meerkat, an Adelbra turtle, a giant scorpion, a sugar glider, a spinney-tailed lizard and 13 unidentified snakes.
Police said that the consignment was seized from a vehicle at Jorabat on the outskirts of Guwahati. “Pradip Kumar was arrested in this regard. He hails from Badaum district in UP. He said that one person called Sawma met him at a hotel in Aizawl on Friday evening and handed him the animals. He was asked to take the consignment to Delhi,” police said.
“Most of the exotic animals are native to Africa and South America. We suspect that Guwahati and northeastern states have become a transit route of these exotic animals which are in high demand in the international pet market,” said a senior Forest Department official, adding that it is suspected that the consignment was sent from Thailand through Bangladesh, from where those were taken to Mizoram.
“It was bound for New Delhi through Guwahati,” he said adding that some of the snakes are yet to be identified. He said that the animals are kept in Assam State Zoo here under the care of veterinarians.