In a surprising instance, two endangered species: the small Asiatic softshell turtle and a red panda were rescued by two IRBN personnel at Chimpu in Arunachal Pradesh and handed over to Itanagar Zoo for rehabilitation.
‘The red panda was reportedly injured severely by labourers who were engaged in cultivation at a cardamom plantation and could possibly have been killed if the villager did not rescue him in time,’ said Raya Flago, curator of Itanagar Zoo, adding, ‘However, he is now under treatment and his health seems to be improving. He also added that this is the first instance that a red panda has been reported from the Lower Subansiri area.
The Zoo curator urged people to fight for the cause of conserving our rich wildlife heritage and appealed to stop hunting and buying wildlife and their parts. ‘A person who abets, uses, possesses and buys wildlife and their parts are as guilty as that of the actual hunter,’ Flago informed.
‘The punishment provisions in Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 has also been increased significantly and now the imprisonment may extend up to 7 years and a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh may be imposed,’ Flago pointed out.