Facebook post of Tokay Gecko for sale draws attention of forest department

Facebook post of Tokay Gecko for sale draws attention of forest department

DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 15 (MExN): Wildlife Crime Control Unit, Wildlife Division Dimapur has issued a summon notice to one person going by the name ‘Steve Ozk’ on the social networking site Facebook to report to the office of the Wildlife Crime Control Unit at Forest Office Complex, Dimapur for offence under Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972.

 

According to a press statement from the Wildlife Crime Control Unit, the said person committed an offence under the wildlife protection act by posting on social media Facebook group, NOOBS (Nagaland Open Online Barter or Sell) the sale of Tokay Gecko (gecko gecko), a reptile which is listed under Schedule IV of WL (P) Act, 1972.

 

The press statement informed that ‘Steve Ozk’ was contacted through telephone by officials of Wildlife Crime Control Unit, Dimapur and apprised of the offence he had committed and was directed to report to the office by November 14 to present his case. He, however, not only failed to turn up before the Wildlife Crime Control Unit, but also severed all communication with the officials, the press statement said.

 

A screenshot of the Facebook post, which was made available to the media, shows the image of a Tokay Gecko, along with a measuring tape with a caption, “Tokay Gecko, Free. Dimapur. Interested buyer’s please contact Dimapur number-… for further queries…price negotiable.”

 

The Wildlife Crime Control Unit, Dimapur has now give a time frame of one week to the person ‘Steve Ozk’ to report to the office of the Wildlife Crime Control Unit at Forest Office Complex, Dimapur from the date of this publication failing which a case would be registered as per relevant section of WL (P) Act, 1972.

 

Mention may be made that for the survival of Tokay Gecko, a lizard of Gekkoniodae family, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India has provided legal protection to the species by enlisting the species under Schedule-IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

 

The offence to this species is punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than three years but may extend up to seven years and with fine.

 

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