Forest officials apprehend illegal turtle smuggling operation in southern India

Forest officials apprehend illegal turtle smuggling operation in southern India

In a recent development in southern India’s Andhra Pradesh forest department officials have intercepted a vehicle transporting Indian Flapshell turtle (Lissemys punctate) illegally.

The incident occurred at the Foks Peta check post in the Rampachodavaram mandal area in Alluri Sitaramaraju district on May 15.

Visuals showed the turtles that were being transported kept inside sacks along with vegetable sacks and the vehicle used to do the same.

Speaking to Newslions, Forest Range Officer M Karunakar said two individuals were apprehended along with the vehicle, which was found to be carrying approximately 1589 turtles concealed in 30 sacks. The Indian Flapshell turtles were being transported from the Ramachandrapuram plain area to the Odisha region via the agency, in violation of wildlife protection laws.Range officer Karunakar added saying that the interception took place during a routine vehicle inspection at the forest check station. The discovery sheds light on the ongoing illegal wildlife trade in the region, highlighting the importance of vigilance and enforcement efforts by authorities.

The seized turtles will be safely released back into their natural habitat, while the individuals involved in the smuggling operation will face legal consequences under wildlife protection regulations.

This incident underscores the need for greater awareness and stricter enforcement measures to combat the illicit trade of endangered species, safeguarding India’s rich biodiversity for future generations.

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