The Mumbai zonal unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 306 live exotic animals that were being smuggled into India from Thailand, an official said on Saturday.
The seizure, which was done in accordance with Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), was made in the early hours of Friday at the Air Cargo complex in Sahar in Andheri, he said.
"A consignment, declared as having live ornamental fish, was intercepted. We found 100 turtles, 62 tortoises, 110 snails, 30 juvenile crabs and four sting rays, all of which were concealed with the declared ornamental fish," the official said.
"The consignment contained Greek tortoise, red footed tortoise, Asian spurred tortoise, yellow spotted turtle, Albino red-eared slider turtle, Asian/Chinese leaf turtle and red bellied short head turtle," he added.
Further action, including rehabilitation of the exotic animals, is being taken in consultation with Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) officials and the Chief Wildlife Warden of Maharashtra, he said.
The seized animals were handed over to Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare for stabilization and are being treated by Dr Rina Dev, RAWW founder president Pawan Sharma said.
The animals are under severe stress due to the journey and have suffered from primary and secondary infections, said Dr Dev.
"These do not belong to India and have been bred in captivity, so they cannot be released into the wild here. They may require repatriation to the country of origin or lifetime captivity care," Sharma added.
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