Mumbai: Three arrested for transporting juvenile crocodiles from Andhra Pradesh

Updated: Sep 18, 2019, 20:39 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav |

The Indian Marsh crocodile, which is also known as Crocodylus palustris or Mugger is protected Under the Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972

Forest officials release the two juvenile crocodiles into their natural habitat
Forest officials release the two juvenile crocodiles into their natural habitat

Acting on the tip-off, the Thane Forest Department (Territorial) arrested three people for allegedly transporting two juvenile crocodiles to Mumbai by a private bus from Andhra Pradesh. Confirming the incident, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) Dr. Jitendra Ramgaonkar said, "We received information from our sources a few days back. According to the tip-off, on September 16 few people were going to smuggle juvenile crocodiles into the city using a private bus. Our team reached the spot in Borivli where the bus was going to come. While checking the luggage area at the rare end of the bus, our team recovered two juvenile crocodiles."

Croc-Bus
The two juvenile crocodiles were taken to Sanjay Gandhi National Park for medical examination

Also Read: Mumbai Crime: Two tortoises rescued from Mulund pet shop

The Forest Department officials have also arrested two people in connection with the smuggling of the protected species. The arrested accused were identified as Mohammed Fazal(33) a resident of Hyderabad and a driver of the bus, and Khuddas Baig (38) a resident of Karnataka state and G Balaya (28), a resident of Hyderabad.

All the three accused have been arrested under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The Forest Department officials have also interrogated the accused and have recorded their statements. Further investigation is underway.

The Indian Marsh crocodile, which is also known as Crocodylus palustris or Mugger is protected Under the Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Later, the two juvenile crocodiles were taken to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) for medical examination by the forest department officials.

Sources told mid-day that the two crocodiles were completely fit and healthy. On Wednesday evening, they were released back into their natural habitat.

Also Read: Mumbai Crime: Smuggler arrested with 50 black pond turtles

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