Chikkamagaluru: Gang poaches 49 monitor lizards

Chikkamagaluru: Tigers are poached for private parts and consumed by humans under the mistaken belief that it increases ones sexual powers, but in a raid on Thursday forest officials came across private parts of Indian monitor lizards, which reportedly is used for worship.

The operation was jointly conducted by Chikkamagaluru forest officials and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) members and they seized 49 chopped private parts of the monitor lizards and arrested four people. 

They were nabbed when they were in Chikkamagaluru to sell private parts of monitor lizard. This part has no medicinal value, but is worshipped by some Hindu families to bestow them with good health and wealth, a forest officer, who made the arrests, told Deccan Chronicle on Friday.

"The worship was more of psychological aspect. The extracted private parts were not for human consumption," he added. 

Assistant Conservator of Forests Ramesh Babu headed the operation and Range Forest Officer Shilpa kept an eye on the alleged trade of monitor lizard parts for some days.

The forest officials nabbed Shahid, a resident of Attigundi,  Naushad of Shivamogga, Kema and Sudha of Hikki Pikki tribal colony. Shahid was engaged in the collection of herbs from Bababudangiri Hill ranges in Chikkamagaluru.

Wildlife activist Veeresh said this activity was confined to parts of North India, but of late it has made its presence in the South and added that this catch was the first in South India. 

The arrested have been remanded to judicial custody. Mobile phones, vehicles used by the culprits and materials were seized by the forest officials.

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