Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2017-02-17 19:49 Bengaluru: Stingray, a protected fish species under the Wildlife Act, was being sold openly in a shopping mall in the city. However, the sale was was withdrawn immediately following the intervention of wildlife activists. The stingray, measuring at least three to five feet in width and about six feet in height, was being sold in Metro supermarket Yeshwanthpur. Not many had known about the sting ray until a tragedy struck, the adventurist and a television host Steve Irwin, who on 4 September, 2006 died after its sting barb pierced his heart, while on a shoot near Queensland. Based on a tip off, wildlife activist and HC advocate, BR Deepak, and wildlife activist Sumanth rushed to the spot. “On learning about the sale at Yeshwantpur Metro, we asked authorities to take us to their fish counter. The authorities were very co-operative and they obliged immediately. We reached the place and found the fish,” he told Bfirst.in. “They were selling this as ray fish. The ray had been cut into pieces and sold at a cost of Rs 250 per kilo,” said Deepak, who is also a member of the High Court appointed Elephant Task Force. “This shows how many people are buying it. It is unfortunate that there is such a demand for this,” he said. Sumanth said the staff was not aware of the fish being a protected species. “We explained them that they will invite trouble as they will be booked under Wildlife Act and the guilty will handed a hefty fine along with three years rigorous term. They removed it immediately and also messaged other units of theirs to keep the ray fish off the shelf and thanked us,” said Sumanth. Deepak said awareness was the best way to fight illegal trade in wildlife, “You cannot initiate action or file a complaint for poaching and illegal wildlife trade without creating awareness. This is what we did today,” he said.