Demand for exotic pets in India drives up illegal trade in endangered species

As many as 468 animals, including lizards, albino pythons, three-toed sloths, pottos, tortoises and beavers, were rescued. PHOTO: MIZORAMPOLICE/TWITTER
As many as 468 animals, including lizards, albino pythons, three-toed sloths, pottos, tortoises and beavers, were rescued. PHOTO: MIZORAMPOLICE/TWITTER
As many as 468 animals, including lizards, albino pythons, three-toed sloths, pottos, tortoises and beavers, were rescued. PHOTO: MIZORAMPOLICE/TWITTER
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KOLKATA - The potto is a slow-moving nocturnal primate found in African rainforests that span Sierra Leone to Uganda. But four specimens of this animal mysteriously showed up thousands of kilometres away recently in Champhai, a district in the north-eastern Indian state of Mizoram, when the local authorities intercepted an illegal consignment of exotic fauna.

As many as 464 other animals, including lizards, albino pythons, three-toed sloths, tortoises and beavers, were also rescued. They were retrieved on May 25 from smugglers who were nabbed as they attempted to enter India by wading across the Tiau river, which forms a porous border with Myanmar.

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