NEW DELHI: A joint team comprising law enforcers and animal activists rescued 52 baby Alexandrine parakeets from a Haryana Roadways bus on Saturday. The endangered birds were being brought into the city from Pathankot for sale in Delhi and Meerut.
People for Animals (PFA), which was part of the rescue team, said they received information at 3.30am about two men bringing the parrots to Delhi in a bus. “The bus was headed for Kashmere Gate ISBT, so we waited close to the Timarpur gurdwara. We spotted the bus around 6am and followed it for a few kilometres before the policemen in our team stopped it. One of the men, Shakeel, actually jumped out of the moving bus and managed to escape,” said Saurabh Gupta, a PFA member.
The rescue team found nothing inside the bus, so checked the roof. There they found two tightly packed cardboard boxes, inside which were the fledglings. “Three of the 52 birds were severely ill and most of them were dehydrated. They have been sent to the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital for treatment. The other person, Afzal, was found inside the bus and had sale deeds of the parrots with him. He was arrested. Both he and Shakeel bought the parrots at Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh for Rs 2,000 per bird and were planning to sell them at the Jama Masjid bird market and in Meerut. The average cost of each bird in the open market is about Rs 10,000,” added Gupta.