HYDERABAD: Chikoti Praveen, who forms the centre of a high-profile casino and gambling investigation by the Enforcement Directorate is apparently also a wildlife enthusiast and a caretaker of some exotic species of animals.
As photos of his with a ball python and an African Iguana on the news, based on a complaint the forest officials swung into action to check whether there was any illegal confinement of exotic species at his farmhouse located at Saireddigudem in Kadthal mandal of Rangareddy district on Friday.
The forest officials were amazed to see several exotic species like the Iguana, different species of lizards and other animals from the reptile family.
“There was a mongoose, different types of big-sized dogs, exotic spiders, horses (including cross-bred horses), swans, ducks, parrots, doves, pigeons, an ostrich, cows and buffaloes at his farmhouse. It is a place one would be impressed after visiting,” said J Hema, Deputy Forest Range Officer of Kadthal range, who was in the team which conducted the searches till late on Friday evening.
Hema said that Praveen had taken permission to domesticate all exotic species through an app which was started by the Centre last year, to enable animal lovers to protect and domesticate them. An interesting revelation from his social media handles was that he named his horse after his favourite Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie. Hema informed Express that Praveen took good care of all the animals, some of which were caged during the day and left inside a room freely at night.
“He not only fed them, but also ensured their good health by administering medication when needed,” she added, also pointing out that the exotic species among the 20 animals found, were brought from other countries. She said that as there was nothing illegal in what he was doing, he will not be charged under any crime as per the wildlife protection laws.