Thoubal: The staff of Kakching Range Office on Saturday released a rare Tokay Gecko to its habitat somewhere at a reserved forest area.
According to Forest Range Forest Officer Kakching Naorem Munal Meitei, the rare species of reptile was rescued following an information shared by one Kshetrimayum Chourjit of Kakching Laithagol Leikai to the Forest Range Office Kakching on Saturday.
Munal said that Chourjit found the reptile lying at his outhouse which is built just adjacent to the Sengmai River a few days back. He also informed the Kakching Range Office that the sound produced by the reptile every early morning and evening since a week back had scared his children.
Chourjit further told the staff that since the sound of the reptile can be heard from a far off distance, the outsiders of the locality may try to catch the poor animal. As per the information of Chourjit, the staff of Kakching Range Office immediately rushed to his residence and rescued the animal on Saturday, Munal said.
Munal briefed that there is a wrong belief among the general public that such Tokay Geckos are useful in the treatment of many deadly diseases like HIV/ AIDS, Hepatitis. Because of such wrong notions, many black marketers are coming out and doing lucrative business of Tokay Gecko. It is very unfortunate and the belief is totally un-scientific and there is no proof till now, Munal added.
Munal told that Tokay Gecko is a very gentle and handsome animal to look at. It is a rare reptile species which is listed in the Scheduled IV of India’s Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Any capturing or poaching of this animal is punishable by a jail term of three years or paying fine amounting to Rs. 25,000/ or both.
Munal also appealled the public to hand over any poor stranded animals like Slow Loris, Tokay Gecko, Snakes, etc., as Chourjit had done, when they are found entering in residential places to a nearby forest office or give information to any forest officials instead of killing the poor animals.
Although there are plenty of laws to safeguard forest animals, it is impossible to save our priceless and prestigious wildlife animals without the help of local people. We should join hands to save them for our upcoming generations, let our Mother Earth be a fine dwelling place of innumerable wildlife birds and animals, Munal pleaded.