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Updated December 8th, 2020 at 21:14 IST

4 wildlife smugglers held with endangered red sand boa in UP's Bahraich

Four inter-state wildlife smugglers were arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich district with a non-venomous red sand boa recovered from their possession, an endangered snake protected under law in India, police said on Tuesday.

Press Trust Of India
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Four inter-state wildlife smugglers were arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich district with a non-venomous red sand boa recovered from their possession, an endangered snake protected under law in India, police said on Tuesday.

The snake is much in demand in Southeast Asian countries for its supposedly aphrodisiac properties.

SP (Rural) Ashok Kumar said the arrests were made from Rampur Dhobiahaar village under Khairighat police station area base on a tip-off from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and the Wildlife Trust of India.

He said Satish Kumar and Pankaj Singh (both from Lucknow), Manoj Kumar (from Kanpur) and Rajkumar (from Bahraich) were arrested on Monday under various sections of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and the Indian Forest Act, 1927.

The snake, which is also used for black magic, has been handed over to forest department officials.

Popularly known as a two-headed snake as its blunt tail resembles a head -- a survival feature to protect itself against predators -- the reptile is valued worth crores of rupees in the international market for its so-called medicinal properties and also because of a popular belief that it brings good luck to its owner.

        The red sand boa is protected under Schedule IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and is on the endangered list. It is the most traded reptile species in India, which includes the common Indian sand boa, red sand boa and brown sand boa.

Found in all the five southern Indian states, these snakes have a market in China apart from several Southeast Asian countries and West Asia.

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Published December 8th, 2020 at 21:14 IST

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