Forest officials rescue 39 smuggled tortoises in Nainital

Nainital, Feb 13 (ANI): Uttarakhand forest officials rescued 39 smuggled tortoises and arrested four smugglers in Nainital.

Acting on a tip off, the forest officials on Saturday carried on a raid and arrested two smugglers, who had kept 37 live tortoises hidden in water tubs and jute bags.

Officials also recovered two more tortoises from two men, who kept it inside a gunny bag for sale.

"We got information that in nearby market tortoises are being sold. Acting on the information, we found that two people were selling the tortoises while two others were buying it. We rescued 37 live tortoises from them," said Jagdish Pant, Section Officer, East Forest Division, Terai.

"Some of the tortoises were kept in a tub and the rest were kept inside a jute bag. The other two people, the buyers, had a jute bag with them having two more tortoises," he added.

India has banned the trade of tortoise under the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act, but the huge premium and lax laws are increasingly luring poachers to the trade. (ANI)

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