- 250 feared dead in migrant boat sinkings
- Sea ice hits new record low at both poles
- Second scare for Australian airline in a week
- Arms depot explodes in Ukraine, Kiev blames 'sabotage'
- China, Nepal discuss joint military exercises
- Horce racing: Six races today
- Palestinian teen shot dead by Israeli troops
- Karting set for enticing battles
- Inter Hotel cricket: Domain Hotel win
- Three Teams beat the Pros
Indian police rescue 6,000 turtles in 'largest' haul
By: dt news , Posted on 11-Jan-2017
New Delhi : Indian police said Wednesday they had recovered more than 6,000 freshwater turtles weighing over four tonnes from poachers who planned to smuggle them to Southeast Asia, in the country's largest-ever wildlife haul.
The 6,430 flapshell turtles were discovered stuffed into 140 jute bags in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.
"Wildlife authorities confirmed that this is the largest haul in the country's wildlife history, both in terms of number and weight -- 4.4 tonnes," Arvind Chaturvedi, head of the state's Special Task Force that rescued the turtles, told AFP.
Indian flapshell turtles are not particularly rare but are a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Chaturvedi said police had arrested the "kingpin" and were likely to make further arrests.
He said the poachers had filled half a truck with the turtles to take them to the eastern city of Kolkata, from where they were to be transported illegally to China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Bangladesh.
Their meat is considered an aphrodisiac while the bones are powdered for use in traditional medicine and soups.
Rachna Tiwari of the US-based Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) said smugglers can earn up to 1,000 rupees ($15) per flapshell turtle, while a bigger softshell -- whose meat is considered a delicacy -- is sold for up to 8,000 rupees.
"Enforcement against poaching has improved, but the scale at which these protected turtles are being poached, who knows, they may also soon become endangered," Tiwari told AFP.
The turtles are currently at a makeshift sanctuary in the TSA's local centre.
Uttar Pradesh is home to 14 of India's 28 endangered turtle species and at least 20,000 are reportedly smuggled out of the state every year.
Rome : Around 250 African migrants are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean after a rescue boat found two partially submerged rubber dinghies off Libya, a spokeswoman said Thursday. Laura Lanuza of Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms said its boat Golfo Azzuro had recovered five floating corpses close to the...Read More
Sydney : A regional Australian airline plane made an emergency landing Thursday after the pilot was forced to shut down an engine, barely a week after a propeller fell off another aircraft mid-flight. The Regional Express (Rex) plane carrying 23 passengers was heading to Sydney...Read More
Kiev : A series of explosions hit a munitions depot in eastern Ukraine overnight, the military said Thursday, blaming the incident on an "act of sabotage". "A fire broke out ... as a result of an act of sabotage at a depot in the town of Balakliya...Read More
Ramallah : Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager Thursday in the occupied West Bank and seriously wounded three other Palestinians, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement.It did not give the circumstances, but said the shooting happened near the Jelazoun Palestinian refugee camp.An Israeli army...Read More
Riyadh : The launch of Saudi Arabia's main film festival has been postponed to next week due to a sandstorm, organisers said Thursday. The opening of the fourth Saudi Film Festival, slated to run from March 23-28 in the Gulf coastal city of Dhahran, was suspended after the storm hit the kingdom earlier this...Read More
Washington : The prohibition on carry-on electronics for certain flights to the US and Britain shows both the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda remain able to mount potent threats to civil aviation despite tighter airport security, experts say. On Tuesday, US authorities ordered a ban on laptop computers, tablets,...Read More
Abu Dhabi : A UAE court has sentenced an Indian expat to 10 years in prison followed by deportation for espionage, local press reported Thursday. An Abu Dhabi appeals court found an unnamed man guilty of "sharing sensitive information about movements of military ships" with an unspecified country, according to the...Read More
London : British MPs were preparing to return to parliament on Thursday after a lightning attack attributed by police to "Islamist-related terrorism", which saw four people killed and 40 wounded. The attack unfolded on Wednesday across Westminster Bridge in the shadow of Big Ben, a towering landmark that draws...Read More