A baby kangaroo, six Macaw parrots, three tortoise and two monkeys were recovered by the Assam Forest Department on Tuesday as the exotic animals were being illegally trafficked in Assam.
A truck from Mizoram was intercepted by forest personnel around 11:30 pm on Tuesday in Assam's Cachar district, officials said, adding, they have detained Narsimha Reddy and Navnath Tukaram Daigude who said that the consignment was headed to Guwahati.
During routine checking of trucks in Assam's Lailapur, officials noticed a foul smell from one of the vehicles. Upon questioning, the driver claimed that the odour came from rotten fruits in his vehicle. However, when officials searched the vehicle, they found the exotic animals and birds locked up in plastic boxes and cartons, sources from the forest department told NDTV.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Cachar Forest Division Sunnydeo Choudhary oversaw the entire operation. Forest Range Officer of Hawaithang Range D Deori is investigating the case, sources said.
The state forest department is not ruling out chances that this racket might be a part of a larger international cartel involved in the illegal trafficking of exotic animals.