Silchar, September 25: Eight exotic animals, suspected to be smuggled from Myanmar, have been seized by the police in Assam’s Cachar district, and five people have been apprehended in this connection, an officer said on Monday.
Acting on a tip-off, an operation was launched and the animals were recovered from a vehicle coming from Mizoram at the Lailapur Gate along the Assam-Mizoram border on Sunday evening, Cacha Superintendent of Police Numal Mahatta said.
“We suspect that the exotic animals were smuggled from Myanmar and the consignment was going to some other state of India,” he said.
The caged animals were handed over to the forest officials after rescue and they are being shifted to Assam State Zoo in Guwahati.
The seized wildlife species include two Panamanian white-faced capuchins, which is a very rare species of monkey, four black gorillas and two common opossums, also called southern black-eared opossum which is also a rare species of monkey, Cachar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Vijay Palve said.
“All these species are not Asian natives,” he said.
“Since they are not familiar with the weather of our area, we have shifted them to Assam State Zoo to keep them alive under controlled conditions,” Palve said.
Most of the rescued animals are African natives and it is suspected that these were smuggled through different countries before the consignment reached Assam, the official said.
In April this year, seven spider monkeys and two black and white ruffed lemurs were rescued from a vehicle near the Assam-Mizoram border.
These wildlife species are usually smuggled from Myanmar or Indonesia and the consignments enter India through Mizoram, he said.
These species are sold in states like Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, to people who like to keep exotic species as pets and they buy these at very high prices, he added. (PTI)