The duo, travelling on a Bajaj Discover bike, was transporting four Indian eagle-owls in two cartons. [Representational Image]Reuters

The world of the online marketplace is massive and one can buy anything from clothes, shoes, gadgets and appliances to groceries, household items and decorative pieces. But can you imagine buying birds and animals online? It looks like some people not just imagine, but even try their hands at selling them online.

Two poachers, identified as Bahu Saheb Annappa and Pramod Hippani Saheb, were arrested by the police near Chikkodi in Karnataka's Belagavi district when they were on their way to deliver four Indian eagle-owls, which they had reportedly sold online. However, they didn't know that their "potential customers" were, in fact, officials of the state forest department.

The duo, travelling on a Bajaj Discover bike, was transporting four Indian eagle-owls in two cartons when the officials arrested them, reported the Times of India. The officials also suspect that the duo is a part of a larger gang that could be functioning out of Kerala.

While the two persons were arrested, the kingpin who was with the duo is said to have fled.

The forest officials laid a trap to arrest the duo after they found advertisements to sell these Indian eagle-owls. They are then said to have thoroughly checked the ads and contacted the sellers using fake identities. The two parties finally struck a deal for the four birds at Rs 10 lakh.

Even though the sellers reportedly seemed doubtful about the identity of the buyers and negotiated the deal for about six hours, they eventually agreed to deliver the birds around 4.30 pm, reported TOI.

The Indian eagle-owl is often valued by a lot of people as they believe that it brings a lot of luck to the owner. Not just the owl, even its bones are thought to bring good luck. Many even believe that these owls talk and predict the future. However, the birds are often beaten and go through a lot of abuse at the hands of their owners when they do not talk. 

The Indian eagle-owl 

 The Indian eagle-owl is also called the rock eagle-owl or Bengal eagle-owl and is found only in the Indian sub-continent. The species are mostly found in hilly and rocky scrub forests, an are usually seen in pairs.

They are known to have a deep and loud hoot and are often heard during dawn and dusk times. Mostly found in brown and grey colours, they have a white patch on the throat and tufts on their head.