Amazon India takes down animal specimens, snares

New Delhi, May 21 : Following a petition and moving wildlife crime stories like a sloth bear losing its limb to snares, Amazon India has dropped over 400 animal specimen and hunting equipment from its 'for sale' list.

However, the sale continues on its international website, but the products were removed from sale at Amazon Indian website after the Delhi based animal welfare organisation Wildlife SOS last week urged the US based online retailers to stop selling such products.

"We had taken down over 400 products that could be used by the poachers. We wanted to ensure that our platform is not misused," Rakesh Bakshi, legal head of Amazon India, told IANS.

When asked if those products were taken down from the international website, Bakshi said: "Laws are different in different countries."

"I can't speak for the international website, but from India we have taken it down."

Snares, traps and specimens like alligators, snakes, bats, butterflies, spiders, ladybugs, beetles, scorpions, frogs and several aquatic animals including seahorse, starfish, octopus, crab and shark teeth among others were on sale on Amazon.

Some products like "the Wild Gator head" had their genuineness guaranteed and customers were assured that the specimens were taken from the wild.

The Amazon website had them listed under the 'Toys and Games' section and the products are still listed in the same section at the international website.

However, from the Indian website Amazon has pulled down 296 items that were listed in the 'animal specimen' category and 104 items under the 'snares or traps' category.

Bakshi appreciated the Wildlife SOS initiative and shared the case of 'Rose', a six-month-old sloth bear rescued by the wildlife organisation after it lost its limb due to such a snare being offered at Amazon.

"The bear's case was moving. Amazon India will work closely with Wildlife SOS to ensure this is prevented now and in the future," he said.

"Our efforts eventually paid off when two senior legal representatives from Amazon came to meet us at our headquarters in New Delhi and were shown the harsh truth about what snares and traps can do to maim, handicap and kill wild animals," said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS.

"We gave a brief presentation to Amazon officials about wildlife crime in the country and the devastating effect it