143 rescued tortoises to be sent back to Madagascar
Mumbai: The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau’s (WCCB) western regional office will soon send 143 of the 146 endangered tortoises, which were seized by Customs at the Mumbai International Airport on March 21, to Madagascar in Africa. The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Madagascar, has agreed and confirmed to take back the animals.
While three of the 146 had died, the rest were kept at the Karnala bird sanctuary.
Meanwhile, Nepal authorities have been asked to file a case against Nepalese citizen Lal Babu Thakur (32) as per CITES as he was carrying the tortoises in his baggage.
« The WCCB’s western regional office in Navi Mumbai is the authority under CITES. CITES Madagascar has been contacted to take back the tortoises. Of the 143 tortoises, 136 are Radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) and 7 are critically endangered Angonoka tortoises (Astrochelys yniphora). They will be shipped back, » said WCCB western regional director M Maranko. « Lal Babu Thakur will have to face charges in Nepal. The CITES Nepal will file the case. We do not have the legal backing to lodge a case during transit. »