PATNA: The government rail police on Sunday evening recovered close to 230 endangered tortoises from an express train in Bihar's Sonepur district.
The seized tortoises, reportedly valued at Rs 4 lakh in the black market, were kept in a jute bag beneath a seat in the general coach of Lucknow-Barauni Express (15204). The GRP team which was on a random check spotted the jute bag lying abandoned. After seeing the bag moving suspiciously, they opened it only to find over 200 tortoises.
The seized creatures were later handed over to the forest department.
The tortoises are reportedly smuggled into neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, China, Myanmar and Thailand through international borders from both Bihar and West Bengal.
According to a rough figure, more than 5000 tortoises have been seized from Assam and Bengal bound trains in the last few years by the railway police.
A cop, on the condition of anonymity, said that 100 gram of tortoise meat in China and other countries is sold at Rs 1500 to 2000.