Thane: The officials from Thane Forest Department arrested two youths for illegally trafficking a total of 88 animals of various species, with purpose of smuggling. The accused were arrested near Viviana mall in Thane, with different species of parrots, turtles and squirrels on Friday.
"Following the tip-off, the forest team led the trap near Viviana Mall, in Panchpakhadi area of Thane on Friday, where two suspected youths were taken into custody for investigation. Following the investigation, both the accused revealed that over 80 animals of Indian species which have been caged illegally for smuggling," said S M Pawar, a forest official from Thane region.
"The officials seized total 88 animals, consisting parrots of three species, turtles of two different species and squirrels. Plum headed parakeets or parrots are eight, Rose ring parrots are 27, Alexandrine parrot are three, Indian tent turtles are 16, Indian black-spotted turtles are 24 and Indian Palm squirrel are 10, hence total 88 animals were seized," added official.
The animals were caged at the homes of both accused. Meanwhile, the forest officials reached the spots and rescued the animals with the help of volunteers from Thane based organisation- Wildlife Welfare Association (WWA).
"The names of the accused who are between the age group of 19-20 years, have kept confidential, for the purpose of further investigation as it could expose big racket of accused involved in animal smuggling. The accused has been arrested under schedule I and lV of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972," informed forest official, Thane. Further investigation is on.