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Interpol Wildlife Operation Thunderbird Results in Huge Seize from Smugglers

In its fight to end poaching of India’s wildlife animals, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has successfully coordinated “OPERATION THUNDER BIRD” from January 30-February 19, 2017. Operation Thunderbird is the code-name for INTERPOL’s multi-national and multi-species enforcement operation.

A total of 2,524 Live species of scheduled animals, 19.2 kg of elephant ivory, 1 tiger skin, 9 carcasses of wild animals, 1 organ pipe coral, 1 jar snake venom, 8 leopard skins and 1 Indian Mujtac skin was seized. "The operation brought about a unanimous approach by the state enforcement agencies in the fight against wildlife crime in the country," said a statement.

In all, 71 persons were arrested during the operation, which saw an overwhelming response from the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttrakhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Preceding this operation, WCCB had convened a species specific operation on turtles, code named "OPERATION SAVE KURMA” from December 15 last year to January 30, 2017. A total of 15,739 live turtles were recovered from 45 suspects, having inter-state linkages. The operation helped the enforcement agencies to focus on the existing trade routes and major trade hubs in the country, which will be continued in future, said the statement.

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