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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Kerala: star tortoise seized from train passenger's baggage

PTI  Thiruvananthapuram, July 22, 2013
First Published: 12:54 IST(22/7/2013) | Last Updated: 16:27 IST(22/7/2013)

Forest officials have seized an Indian star tortoise from the baggage of a passenger at the central railway station in Thiruvananthapuram, department sources said.

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Three persons, hailing from Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, were arrested in this connection. The arrest was made when they reached Thiruvananthapuram from Coimbatore by train on Sunday, the sources said.

The officials, acting on a tip-off from the Forest Intelligence Wing, arrested the three persons at the railway station and seized the star tortoise, weighing over 1 kg.

Indian star tortoise is highly priced specimen in illegal wildlife trade and the three-member team was planning its sale in the city, the sources said.

A case has been registered against them under the provisions of Wildlife Act.

Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) is an endangered species and is mostly found in Munnar region in Idukki district in the state.

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