A few months ago, in and around the forests of Eastern India, people started coming across unfamiliar, curious marsupials.
Any guesses as to what these animals could be?
The title gives away. Yes, it is the Kangaroos. Kangaroos in India!
This month, wildlife authorities saved three of the marsupials after locals reported seeing them. A body was discovered. Videos of the sightings were extensively disseminated in India, garnering public interest.
According to wildlife specialists, the creatures were most likely bred in Southeast Asian breeding facilities and smuggled into India through land, where they were most likely intended to be kept as exotic pets. Some people on social media have called for the arrest of the person who trafficked them.
According to Belinda Wright, a wildlife rights activist in New Delhi, there is virtually “no legislation” that allows anyone to be detained or charged for owning exotic animals. She explained that the authorities could only point to customs regulations that forbid individuals from bringing in animals without having to pay taxes or get licences for them.
The sightings could be a sign of how blatant the wildlife smuggling trade has become. The Indian Parliament is working on measures to close the legal gaps that let many animal traffickers to operate freely.
No kangaroos have ever been kept as pets. They number in the tens of millions in Australia. The marsupials are indigenous to the place, where they are hunted to this day.
Although kangaroos are not often kept as pets in India, they have been spotted doing so in West Bengal, a state known for being a hub for wildlife smuggling.
The government’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence stated in a study two years ago that the smuggling of endangered and exotic fauna is “an undesirable and developing trend” in India and is partially a result of regulations that restrict the trading of native species.
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This post is tagged under: india, government, wildlife, kangaroos, australia, west bengal, wildlife smuggling, illegal
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