Dried lizard penises from India sold as good luck charms

NEW DELHI (AP) - Wildlife investigators from India and Britain say they have uncovered an international fraud in which dried penises of endangered monitor lizards are being sold as a plant root regarded as a good luck charm and used in religious rituals.

The London-based group World Animal Protection said the dried penises of Bengal monitor lizards and yellow monitor lizards look similar to a rare plant root sought by people who believe it brings good luck.

Wildlife authorities conducted raids in five Indian states last month and some raids are continuing, Neil D'Cruze of WAP said Tuesday.

While the plant has disappeared from the Indian countryside, wildlife traffickers have been buying the dried lizard penises and selling them online, the Wildlife Trust of India said in New Delhi.

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