Genome sequencing of a lion cub seized in Kolkata throughout an alleged smuggling try greater than two years in the past has thrown up an attention-grabbing problem to legally prosecute the case in courtroom of regulation because the cub is recognized as hybrid and shared its ancestry from Asiatic and African lion.
In June 2019, officers of the West Bengal Forest Division and Wildlife Crime Management Bureau seized it from Belghoria Expressway in Kolkata. Three individuals had been arrested for smuggling it and are going through trial within the North 24 Parganas.
The rescued cub was later transferred to the Alipore Zoological Backyard, Kolkata, and the State Zoo Authority approached the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) for figuring out its identification — whether or not it was of African or Asiatic origin.
A paper titled “Africanor Asiatic origin? Genome analyses solved the thriller of the hybrid origin of the rescued lion cub’”printed by the scientists of the ZSI has come out with the conclusion that the lion cub shared ancestry with bothAsiatic and African lion.
“Phylogenetic evaluation based mostly on full mitogenome assigned rescued lion cub with African lion (Panthera leo leo). Nevertheless, the TSPY gene of the Y chromosome established that the lion cub shared its paternal lineage from Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica). With using maternally and paternally inherited markers, we conclude a hybrid origin of the rescued lion cub which shared ancestry from each Asiatic in addition to African lion,” the publication states.
ZSI scientist Mukesh Thakur, who led the research, mentioned it has opened new avenues so far as tracing the ancestry of seized animals is anxious. He saidit is essential to analyze the seized materials with a number of marker techniques and ideally with mitochondrial, autosomaland paternal markers not less than in circumstances the place such ambiguity is suspected.
Dr. Thakur mentioned there are provisions for punishment beneath The Wildlife (Safety) Act, 1972 when it issues unlawful trafficking of animals discovered within the nation, on this case Asiatic lion, however the regulation is just not very clear and there’s no definition of hybrid as of date.
The article has been co-authored by ZSI Director Dhriti Banerjee, Lalit Kumar Sharma and Abhishek Singh.The developments have raised questions additionally on whether or not the animal has been born in captivity or within the wild and what’s the supply of its origin. Dr. Banerjee mentioned the ZSI has been actively contributing to the regulation enforcement companies by offering well timed analysis advisory, technical help and scientists from the ZSI have usually appeared in courtroom to help conviction as and when required.
Poaching and smuggling of wildlife pose a problem for investigating companies and yearly 1000’s of animals and birds are killed or smuggled. Smuggling of unique animals and birds are largely for retaining as pets. Genome sequencing and DNA evaluation are used to determine the identification of the species.