Jackal pup, tortoises among wild creatures seized from farmhouse

Jackal pup, tortoises among wild creatures seized from farmhouse
The forest cell of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Monday raided a farmhouse in Kaggalipura, off Kanakapura Road and rescued a jackal pup and other species protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

Other animals rescued include two star tortoises, a flapshell turtle and two parakeets. Officials also seized 50 kg sandalwood from the premises.

A 45-year-old caretaker of the farmhouse identified as Swamy has been arrested and the animals have been shifted to the Bannerghatta Rescue Centre. They will be released into the wild later.

According to sources from the forest cell, the farmhouse belonged to a prominent criminal lawyer in the city. Forest cell sleuths received information about a jackal cub and several other wild animals kept in captivity at the farmhouse named ‘Drona’. When a group of volunteers had gone to rescue a wild animal recently, an alert villager shared information about the captive wild animals at the farmhouse, the official said.

“Even today, outside Dodda Ganesha temple in Basavangudi, photo frames of jackals are sold on footpaths and at several men’s hair-cutting salons, one finds pictures of jackals hung with slogans saying ‘Look at me and you will prosper’.  This belief is prevalent even among the educated who keep jackals in captivity in their houses for good omen,” he said.

Kaggalipura police, who have registered a case under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, Karnataka Forest Act and IPC, have arrested caretaker Swamy, but have let the owner off the hook fearing legal implications, pointed out sources from forest cell. “During the raid, Swamy also told us that even judges and senior police officials frequented the lawyer's farmhouse,” the sleuth added. “Preliminary investigations reveal that Swamy has been keeping the wildlife in captivity without the knowledge of the owner,” said a senior police officer.
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