The Tamil Nadu forest department arrested a 24-year-old youth and his accomplice for advertising on social media platforms on the sale of tiger cubs, including white tigers.
He advertised that each tiger cub was available for Rs 25 lakh onwards.
Vellore forest division officials led by District Forest Officer (DFO), Prince Kumar arrested the suspects after tracking them down for a week. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau had given the alert to the DFO and his Vellore Forest Division team that some people were advertising the sale of tigers.
The forest officials told IANS that the youth, Parthiban who hails from Arani in the state, was staying at Vellore along with his wife. He got acquainted with a pet shop owner, K. Tamil who runs the shop at Ambattur. The duo used to travel together to attend animal and bird exhibitions across the state.
They got in touch with the owners of pets, bought pets from them, and sold these pets at higher rates through online sales. Later he started advertising on social media platforms like Facebook and whatsApp.
A senior officer, who was part of the team investigating the antecedents of Parthiban and Tamil, told IANS that the former recently advertised the sale of Tiger cubs, including White Tigers and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau gave the alert. The Vellore Forest Department swung into action and traced down Parthiban.
The forest officials contacted Parthiban under the guise of prospective buyers, but he told them that the cubs were handed over to Vandalloor Zoo. When the Forest department contacted the Zoo authorities, they said that no tiger cubs were given to them. Forest department led by DFO arrested the duo following mobile tower inputs.