Registered with CITES, rescued exotic animals to stay at Lucknow Zoo
CITES aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.
Over 140 exotic animals rescued from a house in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, are now guests in the state capital and will stay at zoological park after their registration with CITES.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species. India joined CITES in 1976.
“In all we have rescued 146 exotic animals including sugar glider, lguana, ball python, budgerigar (birds), love bird. We have completed their registration with CITES, which is mandatory in case of exotic animals and now they will stay at zoological garden, also called Lucknow Zoo,” said divisional forest officer Ravi K Singh.
In a joint raid by forest and STF officials on Wednesday, exotic/wild animals including sugar glider, palm-size possums that can glide half the length of a soccer pitch in one trip, were rescued from a house in Gomti Nagar. The action came after a tip-off about the illegal trade of wild animals.
“Five sugar glider, one ball python, four turtles along with other animals were rescued. In all 146 animals were rescued,” said Singh.
Wild/ exotic animal species, including ball python, listed as near threatened on the IUCN red list, budgerigar (birds), love bird, a protected species, cockatiel (medium size parrot), turtles, iguana, and sugar glider, were rescued. These animals were kept in cages and plastic boxes at the time they were rescued by officials.
Officials detain the owner of the house and the man who had kept the animals. The process to book them under suitable acts has been started.
Charges would be framed under Wildlife Protection Act under section 9 which states no person shall hunt any wild animal specified in Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 and section 51 that says any violation of the laws and rules as specified under the act will lead to imprisonment which may extend to three years, and a fine which may extend up to ₹25K, said officials.
“We are further questioning the accused to find out the trade route for these animals. More action is likely from the STF, once we get clue,” said Singh.
All the animals are in quarantine and under observation, said Utkarsh Shukla, the zoo veterinarian.