The seized tortoises
The seized tortoises

523 Indian star tortoises seized from train passenger in Mumbai

ANI | Updated: Sep 06, 2018 23:05 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] Sep 6 (ANI): In a joint operation with Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and Forest Department, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials on Thursday seized 523 endangered Indian star tortoises from one train passenger at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus railway station in Mumbai.
It is suspected that the tortoises were to be sold to a pet trader here.
The accused woman who was traveling from Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh to Kurla Terminus has been apprehended.
The tortoises have been identified as the Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans), a vulnerable species and included in Appendix II of the CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species).
The Indian star tortoises are trafficked and smuggled as a part of the exotic pet trade and are highly priced, both in local and international markets.
The turtles have now been transferred to the forest department for further investigation and the Wildlife Department has been requested to pursue that the tortoises are rehabilitated in their natural habitat at the earliest. (ANI)