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The Bangalore City Police have arrested seven people for attempting to sell two rare Red Sand Boa snakes (Eryx johnii) for Rs. 1 crore in the city. Red Sand Boas fetch a huge amount in the illegal wildlife business due to the belief that it brings luck to its owner and the medicinal value of the snakes, a police official said.

The arrested persons were identified as Aamir, Nawaj, Akram, Tahir, Ismail, Sadiq and Arif. They were picked up from a house at Thanisandra on the basis of a tip-off. They were found to be in possession of two Red Sand Boas. The suspects themselves paid Rs. 10 lakh to snake charmers to find the snakes in a forest near Gauribidanur in Kolar district, police said.

The illicit operators had planned to make big money by selling the snakes in Bangalore, police said. Though believed to be a two headed snake – with a head on each end of its body – the tail end of the Red Sand Boa only resemblances a head and is part of the snake’s defense mechanism to escape predators and to prey on smaller reptiles and rodents. Despite its unique characteristics, the non-aggressive character of the Red Sand Boa makes it an easy catch for animal poachers. The non-venomous snake is protected under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and is commonly found in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Source: indianexpress.com

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