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Bid to smuggle Leopard Gecko Lizards to China foiled

By Our Correspondent
June 22, 2022

MANSEHRA: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife department foiled a bid to smuggle Leopard Gecko Lizards to China, an official said on Tuesday.

“We have arrested two smugglers after recovering as many as 15 Gecko Leopard Lizards from a car on Karakoram Highway,” Divisional Wildlife Officer Taimur Shah told reporters here. He said that a team of the Wildlife Department intercepted the car near Khatain-da-Galla and arrested Amjad Hussain Shah and Assad Mahmood, the residents of Abbottabad and Haripur, respectively.

“Both the arrested persons confessed to have been involved in the smuggling of such exotics and indigenous species internationally,” Shah said. He added that the accused were arrested under the Wildlife and Biodiversity Act 2015 and would further be penalised accordingly.

The official said that the Gecko Leopard Lizard a native to rocky dry grasslands and deserts regions of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal. “This indigenous species used in the medicines of cancer and HIV/AIDS and such other diseases and found in Havalian, Haripur, Darband, and Torghar areas in the Hazara division,” he added.

He said that China was one of the biggest international markets for the Gecko Leopard Lizard and its price per gram was up to $ 1000. “The monetary value of the seized consignment is estimated to be up to Rs300 million in the international market,” Shah said. The official said that GLL has become a popular pet and because of its extensive captive-breeding it was sometimes considered as the first domesticated species among the lizard family.