October 4, 2016
It was a joyous occasion for the students of the CMS Matriculation Higher Secondary School as they let free 75 caged rose-ringed parakeets on the bunds of Narasampathi Lake in Nagarajapuram here.
The parakeets were released after two months of rehabilitation and care given by Animal Rescuers, a Coimbatore-based animal welfare organisation and the Coimbatore division of the Forest Department.
According to Vinny R Peter, Director of Community Education, Animal Rescuers, the released parakeets, comprising 32 females, 25 males and 18 juveniles, were rescued from houses, pet shops and fortune tellers in Tirupur, Karur, Walayar, Sathyamangalam, Mettupalayam and Pollachi.
Protected under the Schedule IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, these birds largely end up being caged by individuals as show birds. “The primary flight feathers (wings) and tail feathers, that help the bird to fly, are either cut or clipped. Sometimes their wing bones break or the birds hurt their beaks and talons, which could be disastrous for them,” said Joseph Reginald, founder of the welfare organisation.
He added that when the organisation rescues birds in such conditions, it takes extra efforts to help the birds rehabilitate before being released in natural habitats. “We feed them fruits, grains and green leaves. The birds are released once they are ready to survive in the wild and can live on their own,” he said.
Since, parakeets largely live in groups; they are released in groups in areas with palm and coconut trees, where the birds can nest.
Currently, the organization, together with the Forest Department, is looking after 150 rose-ringed parakeets, 11 Alexandrine parakeets, two each of red munias and scaly breasted munias, one silver bill (white munia) and 12 black-headed munias, which were rescued from Karur.
“We will release the birds once they are ready,” said Vinny.
District Forest Officer of Coimbatore S Ramasubramanian said, that the release was done as a part of the world wildlife week celebrations and to create awareness among the public that parakeets belong in the wild.