A group of environmental activists in Mizoram has sought state governor Dr. Hari Babu Kambhampati’s help to construct animal rehab-cum-rescue centres in the state in the wake of increasing smuggling of exotic animals from neighbouring Myanmar. 

Youth for Environment Justice-Mizoram (YEJM), a group spearheading environmental movement, called on the governor last week and urged him to construct animal rehabilitation-cum-rescue centres in the state capital Aizawl and Champhai in the northeastern part of the state bordering Myanmar, the group convener Vanramchhuangi said. 

The group, which was formed on May 30, also sought the governor’s intervention to curb the rising smuggling of exotic animals into the state, the social activist, who is popularly known as Ruatfela Nu, said.

The YEJM submitted a representation to the governor citing that some rare and exotic animals were smuggled into Mizoram via Champhai and other entry points from Myanmar and such animals after being rescued were kept in congested enclosures without proper care.

It alleged that the rescued animals were handed back over to the smugglers by the officials on several occasions. 

Apart from being kept in congested enclosures, the rescued animals were passed around between officials for a considerable period of time without feeding proper food and water, the group alleged. It urged the governor to take measures for providing medical care to the rescued animals besides setting up rehabilitation and rescue centres for them.

Meanwhile, an official of the Central customs department said that the rescued animals are being kept at a zoo in Aizawl.

Champhai has now become the hotspot for smuggling  of wild animals and other illegal goods, including drugs from Myanmar. 

Several exotic animals were rescued by the state police, excise department and Assam Rifles on different occasions during this year, including 468 species in August and 140 exotic animals and birds on October 15.

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