Man held with two rare chameleons

Kendrapara: A man has been arrested with two rare Indian chameleons near Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district, a forest department official said today.

Niranjan Mandal, was yesterday arrested following a raid by police and forest officials at Batighar village under Mahakalapada forest range while he was going to allegedly sell the chameleons.

“We recovered two chameleons from his bag. The exotic species of chameleon is protected under the International Trade in Endangered Species Act and Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972,” Forest Range Officer of Mahakalapada, Bijaya Parida said.

Mandal is an active member of a racket thriving on smuggling exotic and endangered lizards, Parida said.

“We released the seized chameleons in the nearby forest today,” he said.

A Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) rejected his bail application and remanded him to jail custody.

Forest officials had also arrested four persons last year in Mahakalapada areas on the charges of smuggling four rare chameleons.