November 1, 2015
The parakeet raid carried out by an animal welfare organization along with the officials of the forest department in various places in Coimbatore, which rescued 24 rose-ringed parakeets on Saturday, has resulted in people voluntarily coming forward to surrender their caged parakeets. These birds will be released in the wild after medical examination.
The forest department officials, led by Ranger C. Dinesh Kumar, along with Animal Rescuers, an animal welfare organization, conducted a raid in residential areas in Velandipalayam, Seeranayakanpalayam, Thondamuthur, Sundapalayam, Ramanathapuram, and Neelikonampalayam and rescued as many as 24 birds which were brutally being held in tiny cages at homes.
Vinny R. Peter, Director (Community Education) of Animal Rescuers said that of the 24 parakeets, 12 were fully-grown females, eight were male birds, and four were juveniles. “The primary flight feathers of 16 parakeets were clipped; 11 were without tail feathers, and the beaks of six of the birds were chopped too,” she said.
She added that the birds were being held in cages that were less than 1 sq. ft. in size, severely restricting the birds’ movements. “The birds cannot even spread their wings inside these cages,” she said.
She said that the food habits of the birds too were disturbed largely by the persons who had caged them.
Rose Ringed Parakeets are frugivorous birds that largely feed on fruits, grains, nuts, and flowers in the wild, and nest in holes in coconut and palm trees. “But, people who raised them have force-fed the birds with variety rice, vada, idly, dosa, and even snacks and milk,” she exclaimed.
She told Covai Post that after coming to know of the raid, three persons from areas adjoining the SIHS Colony had offered to surrender the birds. “They had told us that they did not know that raising the bird was illegal and have promised to surrender the birds on Monday,” she informed, adding that the rescued birds would be treated in a special medical centre where they would be kept until their recovery.
There are as many as 11 different parakeets and one parrot species in India, of which four, including the rose-ringed parakeet, Malabar parakeet, plum-headed parakeet, and the vernal hanging parrot, are commonly found in and around Coimbatore.
All of the parakeet species in India are protected under the Schedule – IV of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, but most of these birds are treated as pets and are caged. The members of the organization have also rescued five birds of species including the Alexandrine Parakeet, and four other species found in Coimbatore.