By Aishuwarya Sudarshan
Everybody at the Delhi International airport thought it was just another day at work, security, scanners and aero planes. Little did they know things were about to change. The Jet Airways flight from Thailand had landed, the date 10th September 2012. Most passengers were rushing to get through the transfer gate to catch the connecting flight to Dubai.
There were three passengers who were rushing to catch the Dubai flight as well. But they werenâ€™t in much of a hurry. As they walked to the transfer gate, one very observant security personnel noticed the gait of two of these passengers. He watched them for a few minutes before he decided to frisk them, just as a security protocol.
When the CISF guard called these men for a security check, one of them walked to a dumpster and threw something in before proceeding for the check. As they were frisked the guard noticed something unusual in the passengers pants. The guards checked to see that a Slow Loris had been pushed into a sock and latched on to the underpants of this passenger. Upon further questioning it was found that the other passenger had thrown the other loris in the dumpster.
Slow lorises are a group of five species of strepsirrhine primates which make up the genus Nycticebus. There are five species and one species is native to India and Indo China which is called the Bengal Slow loris (Nycticebus bengalensis).
The slow lorises that were seized are the Pygmy Slow Loris Species found in Vietnam, Laos and China.
The slow loris population in the wild is under serious threat of extinction as a result of habitat loss and the illegal trade for pets and for traditional medicine. This species is on the category of â€˜endangered species on the IUCN Red List and named as one of the most endangered primates in the world.
Questioning has revealed that the smugglers have been doing this on a regular basis since there is a high demand for these animals in mid eastern countries where they go into the pet trade as well as for sex stimulant medicines and for sorcery and black magic rituals.
Sources say they were also trying to smuggle a few bird eggs that were hidden into other socks.
The smugglers have been sent to Thailand where they will face strict sentences.
The animals are all currently under care and observation with Wildlife SOS. Illicit Wildlife trade is an increasing concern for us in India. We are very glad the alert airport authorities have caught these smugglers. There is a need for intensive training in detection of wildlife smuggling and trafficking and Wildlife SOS is dedicated to the cause of wildlife conservation said Kartick Satyanarayan Co founder.
The animals are safe and have been kept in the care of able keepers who are creating an environment for them till further instructions are received from governments of both countries.