The Star Tortoises that were recovered from a pet shop in Nalasopara West
Even after repeated attempts to protect the Star Tortoise under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, it still faces the challenge of being traded openly in sub-urban Mumbai. On Wednesday, four such tortoises were rescued from a pet shop in Nalasopara West. The owner of the shop has been arrested and a case was registered against him.
Nirali Koradia from People For Animals, an NGO fighting for animal rights, seized the tortoises from Abdul Khan, owner of Blue Waves pet shop and handed them over to the forest department.
Speaking to mid-day, Koradia said, “Trading of Star Tortoises has become a matter of concern. Due to high demand, these animals are often traded in large numbers. Crime related to wildlife has escalated over the years and become more organised.”
She further said, “Shrinking habitats and trans-border demand for animal parts have led to regression of several species. Illegal wildlife trade is a serious threat to the survival and conservation of endangered species. Demand for animal parts and products has multiplied manifolds over the years.”
Police inspector of Nalasopara West police station, Badgujar said, “Khan will be produced in court, after which it would be decided whether he will face a jail term of six months or a Rs 25,000 fine.”