Sashastra Seema Bal personnel and officials of Valmiki Tiger Reserve seized 2.4kg tiger bones and three gall bladders of wild bear two persons were trying to smuggle to Nepal.
The operation was carried out on Monday night in the Govardhana range of the reserve, around 290km northwest of Patna. “We arrested two persons with these items. They will be prosecuted under the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act,” Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) field director Santosh Tiwari told The Telegraph by phone on Wednesday.
The arrested persons have been identified as Munna Mahto and Jainarain Paswan — residents of Vijaypur and Mandiha villages, respectively, on the fringe of the reserve.
“During interrogation the arrested duo revealed that they were taking the consignment to Nepal. They had been paid to deliver the consignment,” Tiwari said.
The VTR shares a porous boundary with Nepal’s Chitwan National Park. The Himalayan nation is a major transit point for illegal trade of organs of wild animal, which are smuggled to China.
Gall bladder stores the bile, a digestive juice secreted by the liver. This juice is used for medicinal purposes in China. Tiger bones are used for making medicines and also mixed with some wines.
Though rates of these items are not fixed, both bear bile and tiger bones are sold at a very high rate in the international market.
Tiwari said a look at the tiger bones suggested these were very old but samples of the seized items would be sent to Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, which specialises in conducting such tests.
Expressing concern over the seizure of the prohibited items and that, too, from a tiger reserve, Belinda Wright, the executive director of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), said: “The officials concerned should take the investigation to a logical conclusion.”