91 turtles seized while being trafficked to West Bengal

Balasore: A joint team of the Balasore Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Chandipur Forest Division seized a large number of turtles while being trafficked to neighbouring West Bengal today.

Acting on a tip-off, the officials conducted raids at Rajghat Railway Station in Balasore and seized 91 turtles of four different species. Two persons have also been arrested in connection with the case.

Suspecting the movement of two persons at the railway station, the Balasore RPF personnel informed the Chandipur Forest Division after which a joint-raid was conducted, said sources.

Out of the two arrested persons, one is a resident of West Bengal while the other has been identified as a native of Bhogarai in Balasore, informed sources.

“The arrested persons are habitual offenders and will be forwarded to court later,” said Praulla Kumar Mallick, an official of Chandipur forest division.

As per the directive of the Wildlife Warden-cum-DFO, the seized turtles will be released into the Subarnarekha River mouth on the Bay of Bengal. “Usually, the river mouth is suitable for turtles to survive,” the official added.

}