In a major wildlife conservation success, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Lucknow intercepted a shocking illegal transportation of 436 baby Indian Tent turtles. Acting on specific intelligence, DRI officers stopped a bus near Varanasi and apprehended a person attempting to smuggle the vulnerable reptiles from Kanpur towards West Bengal.
The arrested individual had acquired the turtles in Kanpur, aiming to supply them to the infamous grey market. Fortunately, DRI’s swift intervention saved these endangered babies from a perilous fate. The turtles, also known as Gangetic turtles, are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Following the initial seizure, the case was transferred to the Forest Department of Varanasi for further investigation. This marks a significant victory for environmental protection, adding to DRI Lucknow’s impressive record in 2023. So far this year, they have rescued a total of 1721 Gangetic turtle hatchlings in five separate cases, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to safeguarding these fragile creatures.
The rescued turtles now face a brighter future, with potential rehabilitation and release back into their natural habitat. This incident highlights the ongoing threats posed by illegal wildlife trade and habitat degradation to endangered species like the Indian Tent turtle. DRI’s proactive action sends a strong message to potential wildlife traffickers and underscores the importance of collaborative efforts in wildlife conservation.