In an interesting turn of events, two baby crocodiles were rescued from the Nizamuddin Railway Station in New Delhi. They were confiscated from a person who had brought them all the way from Tamil Nadu to sell them. In addition to the two crocodile babies, the man who was arrested as he got off the train (along with his translator) also had in his possession several protected species of snakes.
This seizure was made possible by a tip off received by a local animal welfare group – PFA about 2 men traveling by train to Delhi with several rare reptiles for sale.
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau was the enforcement agency that facilitated the arrest of the two men and the seizure of the animals. Sure enough the two men who were arrested were carrying 2 baby marsh crocodiles, 3 green vine snakes and a baby cobra in their backpacks!
All these reptiles are protected under Indian wildlife protection laws. The marsh or mugger crocodile babies had been procured by the trader from the wild as hatchlings.
The culprit is regretfully a small time celebrity in the south and has even been featured in the Guinness book of world records for eating a record number of earthworms within a minute. He runs a website on which he posts photos of his dare -devilry with snakes including putting a serpent in through his nose and having it come out through his mouth. A stunt that is foolhardy, dangerous and severely illegal.
Such acts are harmful to the cause of wildlife protection as they make a mockery of the wildlife protection laws and the enforcement agencies.
It is suspected that he also makes money on the side by selling reptiles to rich buyers in and around India. Relatively well known in his region he has done several television shows too.
Both men were arrested and a case has been filed against them. All the reptiles are presently in the care of Wildlife S.O.S and will be released in suitable locations once all permissions and paperwork with the court and Forest department are completed and the right habitat and location for release is identified.
Geeta Seshamani, co -founder Wildlife SO.S said ” we sincerely hope such action acts as a deterrant to wildlife criminals”.
According to Kartick Satyanarayan, co founder of Wildlife SOS “Croc babies are very delicate and need a lot of care, monitoring and temperature control. Thankfully we have a dedicated team attending to these animals round the clock”
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