Five Slovakian individuals at an attempt of biopirating specimens of insects, tissue samples from plants and animals, that are being designated extincting, from Sinharaja forest were arrested by the local wildlife authorities at the premises. The Department of Wildlife informs that many species that are being threatened for extinction, including 3 species of butterflies, scorpions, fireflies, wasps, hornets and worms, were caught from their possession.
Many tissue samples of plants and seeds have also been discovered from their possession. Amongst the animals collected were dead ones as well.
According to the Wildlife Department, these collections had been focused on many parts of the country other than the Sinharaja forest. The foreigners have reportedly confessed that it is their hobby to collect specimens of plants and animals, however are being taken for further interrogation.
According to reports, these foreigners had arrived in a lodge in the Sinharaja region three days ago and rented a van from a renting company without a driver. Special attention of the forest control authorities and officers of the ticketing poll at the Sinharaja forest was focused on these five foreigners when they had initially refused a guide during purchasing tickets for entering the forest premises.
The Wildlife authorities were informed that these foreigners have had lodged in another restaurant located around 3 kilometres away from the previous lodge last night (01) and were having parties.
The Wildlife authorities have examined their lodge, for their behaviour was suspicious, where the specimens were discovered.
Many endemic animals and plants can be found in the Sinharaja forest and various other parts of the country. Environmentalists point out that such collections of organic specimens are being carried out in terms of genetic research, and is a form of biopiracy unaware to the public.