A wide variety of crocodiles and snakes were recovered by Wildlife Conservation Officials during a raid on a house at the Ratmalana Sirilmalwatte housing scheme last Saturday.
Among them were dead creatures found in a huge gunny bag and nine bottles which were also seized during the raid. The live creatures included three crocodiles, a tortoise, two pythons, a cobra and a viper.
Range Wildlife Conservator N.G. Wimalaratne said the snakes had been packed in gunny bags and bottles and left to die while the contents oozing from the decaying carcasses were collected into vessels. He said the shells of snake eggs were found in a wooden container and that was a clear indication that they were bred and killed.
The Wildlife Conservation Department suspects the possibility of a racket with international affiliation. However a 28-year-old man suspected for the illegal trade was away from home at the time of the raid and they received information that he was on a visit to the Yala sanctuary. The officials submitted a report to the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate who ordered that the suspect be arrested and produced in courts on February 13. (Kusal Chamath)