Nepal busts wild animal parts smuggling racket
February 22 2013 09:39 PM

Nepal police have unearthed a smuggling racket of wild animal parts, in which they have suspected that at least 10,000 Tibetan antelopes had been killed to extract rare wools from the endangered animal.

In a month-long operation named “Cobra”, police seized 1,580kg of Tibetan antelope wools from two Nepal districts ( Dhading and Gorkha) adjoining Tibet.

“To collect this much amount of wools, our probe suggests that the poachers and smugglers must have killed at least 10,000 Tibetan antelopes,” police official Uttam B Karki said yesterday.

The market value of the rare wools, locally known as shatoosh or chiru, stands at about Rs5bn ($59mn).

Along with the rare wools, police also seized around 200kg of tiger hides and 125kg of tiger teeth from Nuwakot and Gorkha in central and western Nepal, respectively.

Police arrested seven poachers and smugglers in this connection.

Poaching and smuggling of body parts of wild animals is growing in Nepal. Only a few days ago, police arrested two smugglers from Baudha of Kathmandu with pangolin scales, ivory, hides and skin of wild animals and some international currencies.

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