Nagapattinam: Around  60 antlers, worth several lakhs, was seized from a 21-year-old during a routine vehicle check near the Nandalar checkpost here. 

According to sources, R Aravinth (21), of Orikkai in Kancheepuram, was on a bus from Karaikal to Mayiladuthurai when the police intercepted the vehicle. They found several antlers inside Aravinth’s bag and detained him.

During inquiries, the youth confessed that he had gotten the antlers from Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary area in Kodiyakarai. He was handed over to the forest department which began inquiries to determine if others in the area had helped him. 

“The antlers seem to have been cut from 25 deer," Nagapattinam Forest Ranger (in-charge) B Ayub Khan told the New Indian Express. A case was registered under the Wildlife Protection Act (1972) as per the instructions of Conservator of Forests S Ramasubramaniyan.

Point Calimere does not have many deer and it is suspected that the antlers were sourced from around the sanctuary and not actually from inside. According to a recent survey, Kodiayakarai has 700 blackbucks and 103 spotted deer. The seized antlers cost about Rs. 8 lakhs, as each antler costs anywhere between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 14,000 in the foreign market.