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The Sleepless Sentinel

Illegal Lizard trade on steady rise !

NINB, Aliporeduar: A dangerous news came from northern West Bengal. Based on eye-witnesses, it reveals that more than 100 trade agents are in serious search of living Geko Lizard throughout the forest ranges of eastern Duars! The trend comes down from the Bhutan adjoining areas as the illegal trade with living "Takshak" (Geko) is steadily rising in international market. "In Singapore market a Geko is priced around rupees 50 lakh, if not more"-our middle east correspondent reported.

Geko is a 12-17 inches reptile may weigh between 100-350 grams. The reptile is so eye-catching, especially for it's loud mating call. Once the species was abundant through-out it's ranges and in variety of forest and non-forest habitat of entire south-east Asia. So there was no need to include the species in the Schedule-1 of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Not even enlisted in IUCN red data book. That is a major problem for the forest officers to arrest the traders or to be convicted.

Most animal body parts are being used for oriental medicines which are mainly based on superstition and strategic marketing. The tradition goes since time immortal. But the present "Geko" trade is not much dependent on that. This is a well planned strategic business, based on "Vastu Sastra"! In present time, a number of so-called global "vastu experts" are strongly differing opinions on rules to ensure "vastu sastra" compliance. This includes construction, house-entrance, kitchen location, bedroom, toilet location etc! Keeping a "live Geko" or it's sacrifices has intelligently been published and the demand increases steadily with the pricing around rupees 50 lakhs or more!

Now the situation becomes worsened as the species may vanish as quickly and radically as thousand of species before them. "An urgent need has been felt to launch a sustained mass awareness program against the 'Geko superstition worldwide-" a senior conservationist remarked at Kolkata.