Four people are under investigation on allegations of having canal knowledge of a monitor lizard within a tiger sanctuary in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
The four were arrested by the Maharashtra Forest authorities after a video found on their seized phones showed one of them performing the unnatural act.
The men were identified as Sandeep Tukram, Pawar Mangesh, Arshay Kunil, and Janardhan Kamtekar, and they have been charged with the offense of poaching with evidence of images presented from the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, where they sneaked into the Gabra area at Gothane and committed the shameful act.
It is during their arrest that one of their phones was checked and the forest officials found a video of one of the poachers ‘raping’ the monitor lizard, though it is believed that the detestable act was done by more than one person.
In addition, photos of a pangolin, a hare, a mouse, a deer, and porcupines were found in the gallery of the same phone, proving that the soul purpose of the four was hunting before their motives changed into something else.
They were granted bail on April 8th. However, according to Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), Indian law accords the Bengal monitor lizard the same level of protection as a national animal. Hence, should the accused be convicted, they could be jailed for seven years.
- Edited by Sam Oduor
Rose Masibo is a talented journalist who writes light-moment, celebrity, entertainment and current affairs stories for the Western Kenya Times.