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SOS Rhino : In the News : Myanmar officials rescue wild animals from restaurants

Myanmar officials rescue wild animals from restaurants


15 May 2003
By Associated Press

YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar authorities seized hundreds of wild and endangered animals during raids on four Yangon restaurants that serve exotic meats, a weekly magazine reported.

In the raids conducted on April 30, police and Forest Department officials seized four armadillos, 68 fresh water turtles, 18 tortoises, two monitor lizards, and 283 snakes, including 252 vipers, 30 cobras, and one python, the Burmese-language 7 Day News reported in its latest issue. It said three pigeons and 10 water ducks also were seized, adding that all the animals were to be released in their natural habitats.

It gave no other details, and forestry officials were not immediately available for comment.

The restaurant owners, three of whom are foreigners, face up to seven years in prison if found guilty of killing, hunting, and selling wild and endangered animals. Armadillos and monitor lizards are among endangered species.

Customers pay exorbitant prices for dishes made of wild or endangered animal meat, believing them to have medicinal properties. Many eat the exotic meat simply for the novelty.
Restaurant owners say a majority of their customers are from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China.
Source: Associated Press

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