KOLKATA: A lion cub and three rare white-headed langurs were rescued from Belghoria Expressway in the northern suburbs of Kolkata, West Bengal, in the wee hours of Saturday (June 1).
Following intelligence inputs, a joint team of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Wildlife Crime Control Unit (WCCU) and West Bengal Forest Directorate chased and intercepted a Mahindra Scorpio near Kendriya Vihar Housing Complex on the expressway at 2 am.
The lion cub (panthera leo) and three langurs (trachypithecus poliocephalus) – two adults and a juvenile – were recovered from the vehicle.
Three men – 29-year-old Wasim Rahman, 36-year-old Wajid Ali and 27-year-old Md. Gulam Gaus have been arrested.
Preliminary investigation reveals that the animals were being trafficked from Bangladesh to Mumbai. During interrogation, the men revealed that they were on the way to Dhulagarh check post to deliver the animals to another individual.
The animals have temporarily been shifted to Salt Lake rescue centre. They will later be sent to the Alipore zoo.
The white-headed langur is a critically endangered species and one the rarest primate in Asia.