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Four held for trying to sell rare primates


Thane (Maha), Dec 6 (PTI) Four persons have been arrested from Ghodbunder road here for allegedly trying to sell four monkeys of rare and protected species, police said today.

Acting on a tip-off, officials of the Crime Branch laid a trap in Ghodbunder road area on Thursday evening and held the four accused when they arrived in a car to sell four slender lorises, chipmunk-sized primates.

Slender loris is a small nocturnal primate found only in the tropical rainforests of southern parts of India and Sri Lanka.

“The lorises had been brought here by the four accused for commercial sale,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Shivaji Bodke said.

The four accused were identified as Viju Vergis Chako,35, from Pantitatta, Kerala, Nagraj Rajvirayya Gujja, 53, Warangal in Telangana, Rajendra Balwant Vidhate, 39, from Badlapur and Vinod Krishna Sutar, 31, from Chandgad in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra.

They have been charged under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

“We have seized the vehicle in which the peddlers had brought the lorises. The collective cost of these four wild animals is around Rs 70 lakh in the Indian market, while it runs into crores of rupees in the international market,” Bodke said.

According to DCP (Crime) Parag Manere, these rare animals are found in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

“These four lorises would be handed over to the Forest Department soon,” he said.

The slender loris is an arboreal animal and spends most of its life in trees.

The species has a lifespan of 15 years and are nocturnal.

It generally feeds on insects, reptiles, shoots of plants and fruits.

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