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Bangladesh police rescue tigers, lions from smugglers

  • Published at 04:20 pm November 13th, 2017
  • Last updated at 05:48 pm November 13th, 2017

Police on Monday rescued four tiger and lion cubs that they said were being smuggled to India and arrested two suspects.

Police said they were investigating whether the tiger cubs were poached from the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest, which has a significant population of endangered Bengal tigers.

But they had no idea where the lion cubs could have come from.

The arrestees have been identified as Kamruzzaman Babu from Bogra and Rana Bhuiyan from Narsingdi.

Police acting on a tip-off found the animals in wooden boxes in a SUV in Jessore, Superintendent of Jessore Police Anisur Rahman said.

"We detained two people in this connection. They are animal smugglers who were delivering the cubs to a man at Sharsha," Rahman said, referring to the town on the Indian border.

Also Read- RAB declares Sundarbans pirate free

"We suspect they were being brought here to be smuggled to India," he said.

Bangladesh brought in new laws in 2010 to protect wildlife, but poaching remains rampant.

In 2012, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) rescued three Bengal tiger cubs after a raid in Dhaka.

The tiger population in the 10,000sqkm Sunderbans forest dropped to just over 100 in 2015 from an estimated 440 a decade earlier.

The rescue comes just months after RAB declared victory over crime in the Sundarbans, crediting a gun buyback scheme.