Online Customers Scammed Into Unknowingly Buying Lizard Penises Passed Off As Ancient Plant

20/7/2017

Hatha Jodi is a tantric root only found in remote areas of Nepal and Central India. It is said to bring good luck, health and wealth.A disturbing black market has emerged selling dried monitor lizard penises under the guise of as this ancient plant.

Source: World Animal Protection

However, this trade is not only conducted through illegal channels but also on mainstream sales sites such as Amazon, Etsy and eBay, often at extortionate prices, which can reach up to£200 (around $260).Jose Louies, fromWorldAnimal Protection (WAP), a London based animal protection agency, explains:

The dried lizard hemipenis looks like two hands joined in prayer and is similar to the 'hatha jodi' root that people believe can ward off evil.

Source: International Fund for Animal Welfare 

A team from Manchester Metropolitan University conducted an investigation into this crime andDr David Megson, one of the scientists involved in the project,described to WAP:

Given the photos being advertised online, we needed to get into the laboratory to confirm our suspicions that these dried ‘plant roots’ were in fact derived from Indian monitor lizards.

As the root itself is so rare and difficult to come by, the sale of monitor lizard penises has become much more profitable, albeit much crueller.

Source: World Animal Protection

The animals involved in this horrific trade endure a shocking ordeal. Monitor lizards are captured and taken away from their natural habitats. They are then tied up before their claws are removed, ensuring that they cannot escape.Their penises are then removed while the animal is still awake and alive, leaving them to die a very painful death.Monitor lizards are protected animals and according to the 1972 Indian Wildlife Protection Act, any trade involving these animals is a national offence.

Source: Sakchai Lalit/AP

Dr Neil D'Cruze, a lead scientist at WAP expressed his dismay:

We were shocked at the sheer audacity and scale of this illegal wildlife trade. These illegal items are readily available in the UK and USA with a potential street value of £50,000 GBP.

WAP is aiming to put an end to this cruel and illegal trade and has already begun to request that all retailers remove the alleged 'hatha jodi' from their websites.

To support this organisation and the amazing work they do, you can make a donation by clicking here.

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