Two held for smuggling gecko leopard lizard

Wildlife officials apprehend two poachers during raid

APP June 22, 2022


The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department on Tuesday foiled a bid to smuggle rare gecko leopard lizard in tehsil Havelian.

Two offenders involved in poaching of the wild specie were also apprehended during the raid conducted by officials of the Wildlife Department, said DFO Wildlife Manshera district, Syed Taimoor Ali Shah.

The seized lizards, 15 in number, were being put in a water bucket for transportation to Northern areas from Havelian in a Suzuki carry van. The raid was conducted by Sub-divisional Wildlife officer Mansehra along with Wildlife staff Mansehra at toll plaza Mansehra, Taimoor added.

The offenders who belonged to Abbottabad and Haripur districts have been booked under Wildlife and Biodiversity Act 2015 and will be dealt with further accordingly. They also confessed their involvement its international trade, added the official.

On Monday, the wildlife Hazara circle foiled a bid to smuggle rare Tarantulas spider and arrested three poachers at Shah Maqsood Interchange on Monday.

"The poachers have been arrested systematically as wildlife officials engaged them by posing themselves as potential buyers," said Wildlife Hazara Division Conservator Muhammad Hussain.

The three poachers have been fined a sum of Rs120,000 under relevant laws of Biodiversity and Wildlife Act of 2015 besides confiscating the spider, said Hussain. He added that the seized spider is in good health and will be released soon in its natural habitat of semi dry rocky terrain. The rare Tarantulas spider was purchased by the poachers from a person in Chattar Plane area of Battagram district.

The details about the seller in Chattar Plane has also been shared with DFO of Battagram who will take action against him, said Hussain. “Tarantulas comprise of a group of large and often hairy spiders of the family Theraphosidae and is a rare species in our region,” said SDFO Wildlife Hazara Circle Nawaz.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2022.