Pune Hotel Owner Detained for Illegal Possession of Protected Turtle

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Pune, 25th May 2024: The Pune Forest Department on Friday registered a case against 30-year-old hotel owner Abhijit Pathare for illegally housing an Indian roofed turtle, a Schedule-1 protected species, in his hotel in Talegaon Dhabade.

Wildlife Warden Aditya Paranjape received a tip-off four days ago. Upon verification, forest department officers visited the hotel and confiscated the turtle from Pathare’s fish tank. Pathare was then detained and brought to the forest office for investigation. The case has been registered under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.


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“We aim to crack down on the network of illegal wildlife sellers in the state,” Paranjape said. “We intend to interrogate Pathare to uncover the source of this illegal chain. These turtles can grow up to two feet depending on their environment, and it is illegal to keep a Schedule-1 species in captivity. The maximum penalty for such an offense can be up to seven years of imprisonment, depending on the severity of the crime. If Pathare was unaware of the species of turtle he received, we will trace the original owner and the entire supply chain.”