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Bangladesh police save 4 big cat cubs from traffickers

BANGLADESH POLICE SAVE 4 BIG CAT CUBS FROM TRAFFICKERS

Police rescued four big cat cubs -- two of whom were said to be leopards -- from wildlife traffickers during a raid in southwestern Jessore district near the Indian border Monday, according to a senior police officer.

Two suspected wildlife traffickers were also arrested.

Tests were being carried out to determine the species of the wildcats, which some local media reports claimed included lion cubs.

Lions and leopards are not found in Bangladesh; the country is known for the other big cat, tigers.

Speaking at a news conference, Jessore Police Superintendent Anisur Rahman said: "On the basis of secret information, a team of police raided a vehicle at the Chanchra check post of Jessore and the four cubs were found hidden in two wooden crates.

"These wild animals were brought from Uttara area of capital Dhaka."

Local daily Prothom quoted wildlife management and nature conservation department officer Modinul Ahsan as saying: "Two leopards have been confirmed among the four rescued wild animals.

"The other two look like a lion's breed."

The cubs will be sent to the capital Dhaka for confirmation of their breed, Ahsan said, adding: "Lions and leopards do not exist in Bangladesh."

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