40 exotic animals seized in Assam, 2 detained

Guwahati: Assam Police seized 40 exotic animals from two SUVs bound for West Bengal at Rangia in Kamrup district and arrested two people, officials said.

Police said acting on a tip, 40 exotic animals, including 19 primates, were seized from two Delhi government-registered SUVs traveling from Mizoram and heading towards Siliguri in northern West Bengal.

It is the largest seizure of smuggled exotic animals in Assam in recent times, the official said, adding that the other animals included two baby wallabies, 13 small turtles, three large turtles and three exotic birds.

Rare animals are crammed into multiple cages. The detainees, who were driving the two SUVs, told police they were from Mizoram and were heading to Siliguri to deliver the animals.

The two SUVs had traveled more than 720 km through three northeastern border states – Mizoram, Meghalaya and Assam – before being intercepted on the NH-31 in Rangia, 55 km northwest of the main city of ‘Assam, Guwahati.

Police said the two people arrested with the exotic animals were being questioned for details about the animal trafficking.

The animals were handed over to Assam Forest officials to take the next course of action.

Police added that like previous cases, these 40 exotic animals smuggled from Myanmar and residents of Mizoram and West Bengal are likely to be involved in animal smuggling.

–IANS

Dora W. Clawson