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Peacock, turtles to woo customers: Mumbai farmer who turned resort into zoo booked

The Mumbai man was booked under the Wildlife Protection Act

mumbai Updated: Aug 17, 2017 11:01 IST
Ram Parmar
Ram Parmar
Hindustan Times
Peacock,turtles,Mumbai
The man had put up boards displaying the animals as attractions.(HT)

One peacock, two peahens, two turtles and 15 wild rabbits — this is what a farmer from Palghar used as tourist attractions at his agro-tourism farm.

Vijay Mali was recently booked for this offence under the Wildlife Protection Act. His farm was raided after animal activist Vaishali Chauhan got a tip-off that peacocks were being caged at Sai Samarth Agro resort. She informed Nanasaheb Ladkat, deputy conservator of forest, Dahanu, who ordered a team to conduct the raid.

“Mali had put up boards displaying the animals as though he was running a zoo. He possibly hoped to attract customers this way,” said Chauhan. She added that he may have caught the peacock from a nearby forest.

The animals were taken to the forest department’s rescue centre in Dahanu.

Officials said that as Mali had not sought permission to own these animals, his actions were illegal.

“We booked Mali and are trying to ascertain where he got the birds from. He told us that they strayed into his resort. If this was the case, he should have informed the forest department as these are protected. The turtles are of an endangered species. Investigations are ongoing,” said Ladkat.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 11:01 IST