Gangtok, 08 Jan:
A team from the Forest Department and Sashastra Seema Bal today arrested 04 persons who were in possession of musk pods and a live snake.
Following a tip off, the team raided the rented room at Tadong where the four were currently residing in. On searching, the team recovered 05 musk pods and a live snake kept inside a polythene bag.
DFO, N Jaswant informed that the musk pods recovered can fetch a price of Rs 25-30 lakh.
Bimal Subba and Krishnaman Chettri of Chandey, North Sikkim along with Jordan Lepcha of Dzongu and a girl have been taken into custody under the Wildlife Protection Act. Investigations are on to find out where and how the accused got hold of the musk pods and snake and what they were planning to do with them.
Musk deer is a protected animal under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act. Male musk deer have a scent sac or pod which becomes active when they are about two years old. This sac secretes a substance known as musk; the stag uses it to mark his territory and to attract females. Each musk pod weighs about 15 gm. For thousands of years this deer had been killed in small numbers for the scent and the medicine industry.