Two held with deer antlers, monitor lizard’s genitals in Jammu
Post by Bivek Mathur on Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Jammu, Nov 1: Two people were arrested by the Department of Wildlife Protection Jammu from the city's Nai Basti area on Tuesday for allegedly selling banned wildlife contraband in a grocery shop.
Wildlife Warden Jammu, Anil Kumar Atri told Rising Kashmir, “acting on specific input, we raided a grocery shop in Nai Basti area and found a shopkeeper selling the banned wildlife items, including the antlers of deer and genitals of monitor lizards.”
“Accordingly, two people were arrested in this connection and the contraband seized from their possession,” said the Wildlife Warden, Jammu.
According to Atri, this was the second major seizure of the wildlife contraband this year from the Jammu province of the UT.
In India, the antlers of deer and dried penises of monitor lizard are sold as “rare plant roots” by the occultists (Tantriks) to the public at higher rates to bring good luck in their lives. Parts of monitor lizards are also used in the traditional system of medicines in India.
Pertinently, Monitor Lizards are an endangered species and are listed in Schedule I of Indian Wildlife Act. According to WWF India, an organisation working for the conservation of species and its habitats, climate change, and water and environmental education, all four species of Monitor lizards in India are protected under India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and listed under CITES. This includes the Bengal Monitor Varanus bengalensis, Common Water Monitor Varanus salvator, Yellow Monitor Varanus flavescens, and Desert Monitor Varanus griseus. Monitor lizards are also extensively poached for meat which is considered a delicacy and also believed to have medicinal properties.
As per Research Gate, Varanus bengalensis (Indian Monitor Lizard) is the commonly available species of the Monitor Lizard in the Jammu region of the Union Territory.