The unusual sighting of a peacock and peahen in Bandra has ruffled the feathers of wildlife lovers and officials, who believe the birds might have escaped captivity. Pictures of the national bird strutting about in a Bandra (W) lane have gone viral on WhatsApp and have prompted the forest department to launch an investigation to verify where the birds are and whether they had been held captive in violation of the Wildlife Protection Act.
A wildlife lover sent these pictures to mid-day confirming that he had spotted the peacock (circled) and its mate in a lane behind National College on Sunday
The picture shows a peacock perching on the signboard of a store located behind National College. mid-day spoke to a wildlife lover who claimed to have clicked the photographs. “I have spotted the peacock and peahen there quite a few times in the past week, but finally managed to click pictures on Sunday. I think the birds were illegally kept in captivity by someone. The FD should immediately investigate the matter because this is not just our national bird but it is also protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Act, so keeping it captive is a crime,” said the wildlife lover.
The pictures were quickly circulated among wildlife groups in Mumbai and Thane, and came to the notice of the FD as well. Experts told mid-day that peacocks are regularly sighted at the green patch surrounding Raj Bhawan (Malabar Hill) and are also commonly seen at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the neighbouring forest areas in the Film City and Aarey Milk Colony. However, a sighting in the middle of bustling Bandra is unheard of.
“People’s love for birds and wildlife is understandable, but they should understand that these birds and wild animals cannot be kept as pets and cannot be hand-raised as they are protected under wildlife laws. The FD should take action against those keeping the scheduled birds and animals in captivity,” said animal activist Pawan Sharma from NGO RAWW.
Did you know?
The peacock is the national bird of India and is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.