550 protected Indian birds rescued from Kolkata’s illegal pet market
Wildlife authorities on Sunday rescued around 550 protected Indian birds such as parakeet, Asian koel and hill myna during a raid at Galiff Street in central Kolkata where protected birds and animals are sold illegally.
Hundreds of birds, along with some new born chicks, were found locked inside cramped cages. Nine people were arrested.
The seizure and arrests were made in two back-to- back raids jointly conducted by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change and the West Bengal forest department, said Agni Mitra, regional deputy director, WCCB.
In the first raid, six people were arrested and around 250 parakeets rescued. The raiding teams received information that some of the sellers shifted location and were operating again after the first raid. A second raid led to the rescue of around 300 more birds and some newly hatched chicks that usually do not survive in the condition in which they were found. “The forest department has consulted veterinary doctors,” Mitra said.
Nine bird traders, aged between 18 and 32 years, were arrested. They will be produced in court on Monday.
In recent years, West Bengal has emerged as a major market and transit point for wildlife smugglers dealing in live animals and birds of Indian and foreign origin as well as animal parts that fetch hefty price in the international market.