4 held in possession of red panda hides from Tokha

KATHMANDU: Four persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in smuggling red panda hides from the Capital on Sunday, the Metropolitan Crime Division said.

Issuing a press statement today, MCD said acting on a tip-off, a team of police deployed from the division apprehended four suspects in possession of the rare species' hides from Tokha Municipality yesterday.

Police identified the suspects as Uddav Basnet (25), Bishnu Bahadur Basnet (27) of Manebhanjyang Rural Municipality in Okhaldhunga district, Rajendra Tamang (30) of Kakani Rural Municipality in Nuwakot district, and Dhurba Kumar Khatri (26) of Manthali Municipality-4 in Ramechhap district.

Meanwhile, the suspects have been sent to Hattisar-based District Forest Office for further investigation and action today itself, it said in the statement.

According to the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 - Red Panda also known as Ailurus is classified as highly endangered species in Nepal.

In 2015, at least 218 Red Pandas were found in Eastern Nepal.