350 rare birds rescued in Ghaziabad

July 29th, 2011 - 12:26 am ICT by IANS  

Ghaziabad, July 28 (IANS) About 350 rare birds were Thursday rescued from smugglers on the National Highway-24 in Ghaziabad near Delhi border, an animal activist said.

The endangered birds, that included 70 Alexander parakeets, 170 rose ringed parrots and 110 munias, were being smuggled from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and were being taken to Ahmedabad where they were to be sold off.

The birds were confined in two conjoint cages that were covered thickly with a jute wrapping so that they could not be seen. The cages were kept on the roof of an Uttarakhand Roadways Bus that was coming from Ramnagar and going to Ahmedabad via Jaipur.

“We began the chase at the Masuri toll tax plaza when the bus slowed down. After some time, the smugglers became suspicious and fled the bus at Vijay Nagar,” Saurabh Gupta, animal welfare officer of People for Animals (PFA), said.

“We had informed the Indirapuram police that the bus was intercepted at Uttar Pradesh Gate near Delhi border. Six of the Alexander parakeets had died. The remaining birds were given treatment,” he said.

“The munias, found mostly in the colder climates, were set free, along with the parrots. Each Alexander parakeet fetches Rs.5,000 in the illegal birds’ market,” he said.

The smugglers, who managed to run away, were identified as Shakeel Khan, a bird trader from Delhi’s Seelampur, and Bhura Khan, also a bird trader from Delhi’s Jama Masjid market.

The birds are smuggled almost daily from Moradabad and are sold at Jama Masjid in Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad markets, according to Gupta.

Around 500 rare pigeons were rescued about a week back from Jama Masjid area.

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