Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 17:
Despite frequent raids and arrest by the state Forest department, illegal bird sale is still on the rise in Odisha.
In the absence of stringent punishment, the bird catchers are seen selling these birds near Dagara Sahi area in Pipili bypass along the Bhubaneswar-Puri National Highway in broad daylight.
Varieties of birds such as plum headed parakeet, rose ring parakeet, Baramasi bird, common hill Myna, and parrot species etc are on sale by these bird catchers.
Though selling of these birds is a non-bailable offence under Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, the repeated offenders are in no mood to give up the easy money. The sale, which had slowed down significantly after repeated raids during the two-year tenure of Suvendu Mallick as honourary wildlife conservator, has gone up again after completion of his tenure.
A large number of men and women including youngsters and old men, indulged in the business in Pipili, are used to catch birds from Bramhagiri. The selling price of these birds vary between Rs 120 for a Baramasi bird and it gets as high as Rs 1200 for a Sari.
“At times, the bird catchers go on to paint the birds to make it appear like a more expensive bird and sell it to unsuspecting customers. While it is also an offence to keep these birds as pets in house, lack of awareness among the public doesn’t help either,” said wild life photographer Alok Patnaik.
He said absence of exemplary punishment against the bird catchers has encouraged to indulge in this illegal trade.
When asked about the matter, chief wildlife warden wondered as to how this illegal business still continues despite frequent raids and arrest of these bird catchers.
“Are they still doing it!?” he asked.