India: Twenty Indian roofed turtles and a caged parrot were seized from Crawford market (now called Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market) in south Mumbai on Friday night in a joint raid conducted by state forest department and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau.
Officials also arrested one person, Bilal Mohd Hanif Shaikh (29), for illegal wildlife trade.
After seizing the roofed turtles from the accused man, his house was also searched from where the caged parrot was found, informed a city range forest officer (RFO), Yuvraj Gite.
Sunish Subramanian Kunju, honorary wildlife warden who was part of raiding team, said, "It is learned that the accused, Shaikh, was also involved in other wildlife cases in recent past. Indian roofed turtle is protected under Schedule I and parrot is protected under Schedule IV of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Offence was registered under Section 9, 39, 48 (A), 49, 49 (A), 50 & 51 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972."
Animal rights groups have consistently urged citizens not to buy such wildlife species as pets, since not only is it illegal, but there is animal cruelty involved in these rackets.
"Baby parrots are poached from the jungles, tearing them away from their natural mothers, and smuggled into cities in tiny boxes to be sold as pets. If people understand this and refuse to buy these wildlife species, then this illegal trade can be crushed," said Subramanian.
Just last week, the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) had conducted multiple raids in the city (including Crawford Market) to seized hundreds of exotic birds and other rare wildlife species.
(Source: The Times of India)