Imphal, June 29: Manipur Police arrested two persons along with around 4,500 live wild frogs in nine gunny bags on Monday, according to People for Animals (PFA) Manipur. Later the live frogs were released in a wetland area in the outskirts of Imphal.
The arrest was made by a team of Patsoi police station during their routine frisking and checking in front of their station under Imphal West district on Monday morning.
Reports said the police team intercepted the van when it came towards the checking area. The arrested persons are Leibon Bambam Kom,the owner of the frogs and van driver Kennedy Kom.
Without delay, the team of PFA Manipur along with staff of Central Forest Division rushed to the Patsoi area to oversee the development after they received the report of the arrest.
On seeing the conditions of the live frogs mostly Indian Skittering Frog with some Indian Bullfrog species, the volunteers of PFA Manipur along with forest and police officials released the frogs at Lamphelpat wetland area after taking permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden Manipur, says Managing Trustee L Biswajeet Meitei of PFA Manipur.
Reports said the live frogs were collected and bought at the rate of Rs 100-120 per kilogram from Moirang area in Manipur's Bishnupur district to be sold in markets of Senapati area at the rate of Rs 150-280 per kilogram.
Now the concerned forest officials have started to investigate the case of seizing such kinds of live frog species (Indian Skittering Frog and Indian Bullfrog) which are said to be listed in scheduled IV of the Wildlife Protection Act to take up necessary actions.
It is said that unauthorised hunting of live frogs is a serious threat to the ecosystem. Feeding on pests, frogs are natural pest controllers and many wild birds and animals eat them too.Their over-hunting could thus lead to an imbalance in nature.