Rich haul of Star tortoise found in train

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Kolar, Sep 6 (UNI) A rich haul of Star tortoise, numbering over 600 packed in three gunny bags were found in Yeshwanthpur-Howrah train at Kuppam Railway station in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh early today.

Railway Police, which were alerted by passengers about an unclaimed luggage, were surprised to see the haul when it was opened at Bangarpet Railway Station in the district.

RPF Inspector Pramodh Nair said somebody would have kept the animals packed in gunny bags underneath the seats in S6 compartment and as the train left Yeshawantpur late last night, some passengers complained that major portion of the compartment was occupied by the unclaimed luggage.

As the train reached Kuppam, the Railway police opened the gunny bags only to find hundreds of Star Tortoises. The consignments were brought to Bangarpet Railway Station and handed over to Range Forest Officer Chandrashekara Reddy.

Mr Reddy said he contacted the Principal Conservator of Forests and apprised him of the Star Tortoises. The animals would be either handed over to the authorities at the National Park, Bangalore or would be left inside dense forest.

The RPF personnel could not trace the owner of the gunny bags.

UNI XR MSP ARB CS2001

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