Illegal ‘Hathajodi’ Trade Thrives On YouTube: Odisha’s Snake Helpline Alerts Centre

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Bhubaneswar: Several YouTube users were allegedly involved in the illegal trade of ‘Hathajodi’— the hemipenis of monitor lizard — on the online video-sharing platform, Odisha-based Snake Helpline has alerted the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

In a letter to MoEF’s Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Snake Helpline General Secretary Subhendu Mallik wrote, “After the intervention of your office in 2017, online sellers like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal have stopped selling of ‘Hathajodi’. However, I found several persons are selling ‘Hathajodi’ by advertising it on their own YouTube channels. They have displayed their mobile numbers on the screens also.”

Mallik also attached a few links, mobile numbers and URL of some YouTube channels involved in the trade of ‘Hathajodi’ in violation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

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