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Four held, 105 star tortoises recovered

Accused smuggling them to Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata

Forest officials apprehended four suspected smugglers and seized 105 star tortoises from them during a raid in the Surabhi forest area in Lakkireddipalle mandal in Kadapa district on Sunday.

The accused were allegedly smuggling the star tortoises to Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata by packing them in parcels when they were arrested. Meanwhile, forest officials arrested four persons who were allegedly hunting wild goats and deer near Peddanakkalagandi in Jangamrajupalle beat in Badvel forest range in Kadapa district on Saturday evening.

On a tip-off, forest officials combed the Badvel forest area and spotted 13 hunters on March 30, but 11 of them fled and two were apprehended, according to Badvel forest range officer Sudarshan.

Four hunters nabbed

On information that hunters ventured into the forest again, forest official nabbed four of the fugitives — Krishna Reddy, Sankar, Nagarjuna and Suresh — all belonging to Kothabasava-puram in Brahmamgari Matham mandal, he said.