Mumbai: Wildlife filmmaker booked by forest department for illicit transportation of Indian star tortoise

Reportedly, she transported a tortoise from Mumbai's Panvel area to Pune for treatment without obtaining forest department's prior permission in July.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, August 22, 2022, 01:35 PM IST
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Mumbai: Wildlife filmmaker booked by forest department for illicit transportation of Indian star tortoise | Wikimedia Commons

Wildlife filmmaker and National Geographic explorer Aishwarya Sridhar has been booked by forest department for illegally transporting an Indian star tortoise.

Reportedly, she transported a tortoise from Mumbai's Panvel area to Pune for treatment without obtaining forest department's prior permission in July.

A report in the Midday stated that monthly report by charitable organisation RESQ brought the alleged illicit activity to the fore.

Indian star tortoise under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list has been labelled as "threatened".

Sridhar was booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 on August 3; she was sent a notice on August 18. The forest department also asked the filmmaker to share details about how she recused the tortoise and from whom and on what basis did she hand over the reptile to RESQ.

According to the report, Sridhar recorded her statement at Panvel office of the department on August 13 wherein she said she had received tortoise from a farm owner in Panvel and knew about the Pune facility since she had shot a video related to rescue and rehabilitiation.

Reportedly, she has been asked to present all materials to Panvel office by Monday and if she does not, action will be taken against her.

The report quoted an official as saying that she was being non-cooperative and that they suspect she is using the tortoise to film her documentary on the illegal wildlife trade.

The Pune-based organisation in their statement said that they treated the tortoise which had injuries on fore limbs and said that they were told by Sridhar she got the tortoise from a friend.

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