4 cubs of lion, tiger rescued from SUV
Police rescued two lion and two leopard cubs from a sport utility vehicle (SUV) in Jessore Sadar upazila yesterday afternoon.
The cubs were being taken from Dhaka's Uttara to Benapole using the SUV (Dhaka Metro-Gha 13-2790) illegally, said Syed Bayejid Hossain, in-charge of Chansra police camp.
On a tip off, the camp police stopped the vehicle at Chansra intersection at around 10:10am and rescued the cubs, the police official told our Benapole correspondent.
The law enforcers also detained two people, Rana Bhuiyan, 27, of Narsingdi and Kamruzzaman Babu, 30, of Bogra, in this connection, he said, adding that they are being interrogated for further information.
They were taking those four cubs to a house in the bordering Sharsha upazila in Jessore. The cubs were kept inside a wooden box in the vehicle.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) Jessore office sources said they primarily came to know that the vehicle is owned by one Md Khwaja Moinuddin, an official of M/S. Star Gold International in Banani.
After seeing the photographs, Dr Reza Khan, head of Dubai zoo, also confirmed that two of those four cubs were lions and the others were leopards.
“Definitely those were smuggled into our country. There is no such cub in [our] zoos,” Dr Reza Khan said.
The cubs were kept at the police lines till filing of this report in the evening.
Modinatul Ahsan, divisional forest officer, Khulna, reached Jessore yesterday afternoon. He told journalists that these were not any local species. The forest department will investigate how these four cubs were brought in the country.
They will be sent to Bangabandhu Safari Park in Gazipur if court orders them to be handed over to Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division, he added.