U'khand forest deptt seize 'endangered' snakes from IMA



Dehradun: The Uttarakhand forest department has seized five snakes, including a python and a cobra, from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) for keeping the endangered species without permission, officials claimed on Friday.

A snake-charmer has also been arrested from Rishikesh who supplied the snakes to the Academy, Divisional Forest Officer, Dehradun, Meenakshi Joshi said. IMA had yesterday brought one python, one cobra and three rat snakes from Rishikesh to impart training to its Gentlemen Cadets (GCs), but did not take prior permission from the forest department, Joshi claimed.

The IMA, in a press release, said the creatures were meant only for training purpose and left back into the nature after jungle warfare exercise. Joshi said the seized snakes come under schedule one and two in list of endangered species and to keep them in possession is an offence. The matter was being investigated, she added.

IMA is a basic training institute to make a GC fit for all aspects during the time of operations in battlefields. "The battlefields are mostly in inhospitable terrain especially in jungles infested with dangerous reptiles. "It is, therefore, imperative to make GCs familiar and exposed to these creatures so their basic fear goes away," it said.

PTI