KOLKATA, Dec 10: Around 1,500 turtles of endangered species were found on Wednesday in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district and six persons arrested, a forest official said.
All of those arrested in the joint raid by the Forest Division and the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau are from Uttar Pradesh, Chief Wildlife Warden VK Yadav said.
Acting on a tip-off, a vehicle with UP registration was intercepted near Bongaon, he said.
In the MUV, 1,295 live Indian soft-shell turtles, 17 live peacock-mark soft-shell turtles and 188 dead soft-shell turtles were found, he said.
The six persons, travelling in the vehicle, were from different villages in the Sultanpur district of UP.
The seized turtles, protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, were hidden under a sack of onions and probably meant for trafficking into Bangladesh through the nearby international border, Yadav told PTI.
Wildlife traffickers from UP and Madhya Pradesh are involved in the racket of illegally transporting turtles to Bangladesh, he said.
Turtle meat is considered a delicacy in West Bengal and Bangladesh.
The live turtles will be released in the water bodies in Purbasthali by the Forest Department, Yadav said. - PTI