A resident and bird-lover from Chinchwad rescued 21 parakeets being illegally sold by a woman at Chafekar Chowk on Sunday morning. Aniruddha Kulkarni, who has been doubling as a volunteer in Bahinabai Chaudhary Zoo of Chinchwad since the past 19 years, discovered the woman selling the birds and informed the jurisdictional police.
When lady constables arrived at the spot, the woman managed to slip away after threatening to kill her own one-month-old child if arrested.
On deaf ears
“I warned this woman a couple of times about selling the parrots. She ignored my warnings and continued to sell a pair for Rs 1,200,” Kulkarni said.
He added that on Sunday morning, he sent a friend posing as a customer to confirm whether the woman was still selling parrots. During the crackdown, the bird lover was able to rescue 21 parrots as the woman had already sold four birds to customers.
“Around 12 parrots were kept in a small cage. I fed them water and sent them to Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park,” he said.
Regarding the threat issued by the woman when confronted by the police, Kulkarni said that he only filed a complaint of non-cognizable offence against her instead of an FIR considering the future of her baby.
The bird-keeper of Bahinabai Chaudhary Zoo, Anil Raut said that according to the Wild Life Protection Act 1972, selling Indian animals or birds is a non bailable offence and offenders face a fine and a jail sentence.
“Parakeets are in great demand as they are attractive to look at, are very talkative and get accustomed to being handled or being kept as pets. They also have a lifespan of 80 to 100 years,” Raut said.
Need constant care
He further added that parakeets can live on a diet of green vegetables, corn, chilly and guava and can easily fall sick and perish if not cared for properly.
Residents and shopkeepers at Chafekar Chowk area said that a male relative of the parrot seller usually brought the baby birds to the market in the wee hours each day and proceed to sell the birds for about Rs 600 each.