KOCHI: Of late, Kerala has reported increasing ‘seizure’ of ambergris — a highly valued substance originating in the intestines of sperm whales. But there’s a twist in the tale. After DNA tests and expert analysis, it turns out that not one haul announced by enforcement agencies contained real ambergris, officials told TNIE.
A senior officer with the Kerala forest department said the trade in ambergris – which is formed from the vomit of sperm whales and is used to make medicines and perfumes – is similar to the trade in deer-musk pods where a majority of the musk seized turned out to be fake. Since January 2022, the forest department has registered 11 cases and recovered 77. 17kg of ambergris. However, all of that has turned out to be fake.