Over 70 snakes, including Russell’s vipers and cobras were recovered from a house in Pune on Tuesday where a man was living with his wife and children.
Ranjit Kharage along with his alleged accomplice, identified as Dhananjay Belkute, have been arrested for allegedly keeping the snakes illegally. The snakes were found in wooden boxes and gunny bags and are believed for extracting and selling venom.
A Chakan police inspector claimed that 41 Russell’s vipers and 31 cobras were seized from the flat. “Investigations have revealed that the duo allegedly extracted venom from these reptiles and used to sell or smuggle it,” the police inspector said.
A case under relevant sections of Wildlife Protection Act has been registered against the duo.
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The seizure was made after a police received a tip-off about the snakes. Kharge was not at home when police raided his place. Since it was dark, the search team evicted the family members from the house, locked the place. The snakes were recovered on the next morning.
“Even children knew about it,” the police officer exclaimed.
Police also recovered venom stored in small bottles in possession of the two. The snakes will be handed over to the forest officials.