Jawans of the 37 Battalion Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on Sunday rescued a Tokay gecko during an operation along the Indo-Bhutan international border at Tanki Basti in Assam’s Udalguri district.
According to SSB sources, the “Tokay Gecko” was 12 inches long and weighed more than 300 gms.
Geckos are listed in the Schedule III of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 as highly endangered species.
The price in the international market for a living gecko reaches several lakhs of rupees depending upon its size and weight, said SSB sources.
Tokay geckos are nocturnal lizards that live in Southeast Asia.
While some keep geckos as pets, their body parts are used in preparing traditional Asian medicines, ranging from an aphrodisiac and energy drink to treatments for diabetes, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
The police had also rescued a Tokay gecko at Nagaon Chariali under Bogeenadi Police Station in Lakhimpur district in January this year.
The police also arrested a person for keeping the animal illegally in his possession.
The gecko was then released at the Kakoi Reserve Forest in the district.