New Delhi: Twenty seven endangered turtles, meant for sale to other countries, were today seized in a joint operation by Delhi police, the wildlife department and different groups near a bus stand here.
The operation was carried out by Wildlife SOS, Delhi Wildlife Department, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and Delhi Police.
The soft-shelled turtles had been captured by the poachers in Rajasthan and carried in bags using public transport. The turtles were to be killed for meat which is consumed under the mythical belief that it has aphrodisiac properties.
"It is shocking that the trade in endangered turtles goes on in Delhi so rampantly. These turtles are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
"We are thankful to the Delhi police and the Wildlife authorities for their support and cooperation in making this operation a success," said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS.
A Wildlife SoS statement said the carapace and the plastron of these endangered turtles are dried and powdered and then sold off to Bangladesh and South East Asian countries for use in traditional Chinese medicine.
The statement said that after receiving intelligence, a team was deployed in the early hours of the morning to monitor the bus stand in Delhi.
After confirmation of the poachers and the contraband, the information was passed on to the authorities who nabbed the poachers with the turtles.