Owlets and turtles seized

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  • Published 30.11.08

Balurghat/Islampur, Nov. 30: Four owlets and 400 river turtles of endangered species were seized in two incidents in South and North Dinajpurs today.

At South Dinajpur’s Shaheb Kutcherry Para, members of a club recovered four barn owl fledglings from two persons who fled on being chased.

“We stopped the two men carrying the sacks and discovered the owls in the cages. We started bargaining with them so that we could buy the birds and hand them over to the forest department. But when the duo saw our desperation to get the birds and also got threatened, they ran away leaving behind the cages,” said Sudip Chattopadhyay, a member of the club. The forest ranger of Balurghat, Manjula Tirkey, said the birds would be released in the wild.

At Asuragarh in North Dinajpur’s Chakulia, police seized about 400 soft-shelled river turtles being carried in 14 bags by two men and six women who were accompanied by two children.

The police said the turtles were caught in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur and were on way to the Bangladesh border in Gangarampur in South Dinajpur.

The women alighted from a bus on NH 31 with the bags and loaded them on a van-rickshaw, rousing suspicions among residents of the area. “When we arrived at the spot, the two men ran away. The women and the children have been detained,” a police officer said.

The forest ranger of Raiganj, Anil Roy, said: “We will release the turtles of endangered species in the Kulik. We are questioning the women to find out a racket.”