Police rescue protected parakeets, two men from Chennai arrested

Police rescue protected parakeets,  two men from Chennai arrested

Police have rescued 23 Alexandrine Parakeets and six Rose Ringed Parakeets, two of the bird species protected under Schedule 4 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Two men from Chennai have been arrested in this connection.

Vijay Raghavendra, 30, a businessman, and Ramesh, an engineering student, were caught in Rajagopalnagar, north Bengaluru, on Tuesday night when they were transporting the birds by bus. The duo are first-time offenders and were unaware that the birds are protected, the Rajagopalanagar police said.

Most of the rescued birds are sub-adults or juveniles. The birds were dewormed and sent to the Bannerghatta Rehabilitation and Rescue Centre where they will be vaccinated.

Conservationists and police suspect there is a racket going on under which birds are picked up from forests in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and illegally sold in Bengaluru. The birds are sought to be kept as pets by the rich or used by astrologers.

Usually, poachers keep the birds in containers and transport them by bus as it’s easier to avoid checks. The container is passed off as food or fragile parcel. This is the first seizure of protected birds this year. Last year too, police had made one seizure.

Anil Garg, secretary, Avian Society of India, said that people in rural areas continue to keep birds illegally. But the trend is changing in cities and towns. People would earlier train the birds and make them talk. Now, birds such as Australian Love Birds, Cockatiels, Java Finch, Diamond Dove and Conures are in demand, he said.

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