Tue, Oct 03, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Special delivery 特別快遞

A snake charmer comes face to face with a cobra in Khedaitola, India.
在印度的科戴托拉,弄蛇人面對一條眼鏡蛇。 (照片:美聯社)

PHOTO: AP

When a dead snake dropped out of a delivery package in India, it not only scared the messenger, but tipped police off to a huge smuggling operation of endangered animal specimens as well.

When they opened up the package, they found it full of dead, preserved animals, including five adult cobras, 97 baby cobras and 91 baby Olive Ridley sea turtles.

“We never thought, not even in our dreams, that someone would send dead animals through a (delivery service),” Manoj Jaiswal, the owner of the delivery company, said.

Police were quickly called and they began an investigation into the strange find. According to a wildlife official, the preserved animals were worth US$10,000 (NT$330,000) on the international market.

Officials believe the specimens are used in science laboratories and, in some cases, in traditional medicines.

The cobra is worshipped in many parts of India, while the Olive Ridley turtle, the smallest of all sea turtles, is endangered.

Following the find, police searched the house of Brijesh Upadhaya, to whom the package was addressed. There they found thousands more dead endangered animals, including sharks, octopuses, seahorses, chameleons and snakes — including cobras, pythons and vipers. They did not find Upadhaya and his wife, but police are looking for him.

Police also arrested two men in the southern city of Chennai, from where the package was sent.

Manoranjan Chaudhry, a wildlife expert, said the smugglers first kill the animals with chloroform. Then they are preserved and sent “to different parts of the globe.”

Chaudhry estimates that a cobra skin sells for between US$100 and US$200. (AP)

在印度,當一條死蛇從快遞包裹掉出來時,不只嚇壞了快遞員,也提醒了警方瀕危動物走私的猖獗行為。

Today's Words 今天單字

1. smuggling n.

走私 (zho3 si1)

例: Police often use trained dogs to stop drug smuggling.

(警方經常利用訓練過的狗來制止毒品走私。)

2. specimen n.

標本 (biao1 ben3)

例: Scientists who study insects have to collect specimens in order to know more about them.

(為了更了解昆蟲,研究昆蟲的科學家必須採集各類標本。)

3. preserved adj.

防腐的 (fang2 fu3 de5)

例: A mummy is just a preserved human body.

(木乃伊就是防腐保存的人類屍體。)

4. estimate v.t.

估計 (gu1 ji4)

例: When I began painting my house, I estimated I would need about 10 cans of paint, but I ended up only needing eight.

(我開始粉刷房子時,估計需要十罐油漆,但我最後只用八罐。)


他們打開包裹,發現裡頭裝滿了動物標本,包括五條成年眼鏡蛇,九十七條小眼鏡蛇與九十一隻小海生欖蠵龜。

快遞公司老闆曼諾伊.杰斯瓦說︰「我們連做夢都沒想到,有人會(透過快遞)寄動物標本。」

警方很快接獲電話,著手調查這件怪事。一名野生動物官員表示,這些動物標本在國際市場共值一萬美元(新台幣三十三萬元)。

官員相信,這些標本被用於科學實驗室,有時還被應用於傳統醫藥中。

眼鏡蛇在印度各地廣受崇拜,而海龜中體型最小的欖蠵龜則瀕臨絕種。

追蹤這項發現,警方搜索了包裹收件人布里杰許.烏帕哈亞的住家。警方在那裡又發現了數千隻瀕危動物的標本,包括鯊魚、章魚、海馬、變色龍及眼鏡蛇、蟒蛇與奎蛇等蛇。警方並未看到烏帕哈亞及其妻子,但仍在繼續找尋他。

警方也在包裹寄出的南部大城清奈逮捕兩名男子。

野生動物專家馬諾拉真.查德希表示,走私者先用三氯甲烷讓動物魂歸西天,再製成標本,寄到「世界各地」。

查德希估計眼鏡蛇的皮可以賣到一百至兩百美元。

(美聯社/翻譯︰賴美君)

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