Illegally Held Indian Star Tortoises and Parakeet Rescued From Mumbai Apartment Following PETA India Complaint

Posted on by Shreya Manocha

Acting on a tip from a concerned citizen, PETA India worked with the range forest officer, Mumbai Range, Thane Forest Division, to rescue two star tortoises and one parakeet – both species protected under the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972 (as amended in 2022) – who were being held illegally at an individual’s home in Malad, a suburb of Mumbai. The animals are being kept under observation at the Thane Forest Division’s facility prior to rehabilitation. A preliminary offence report has been registered against the accused under sections 9, 39, 48, 48A, and 50 of the WPA. Indian star tortoises and parakeets are protected under Schedule I and Schedule II of the Act, respectively, and possessing a protected species is an offence punishable by a minimum fine of Rs 25,000 and a prison sentence of a minimum term of three years but which may be extended to seven years.

In the illegal bird trade, countless birds are torn away from their families and denied everything that is natural and important to them so that they can be sold as “pets” or used as bogus fortune-tellers. Fledglings are often snatched from their nests, while other birds panic as they’re caught in traps or nets that can seriously injure or kill them as they struggle to break free. Captured birds are packed into small boxes, and an estimated 60% of them die in transit from broken wings and legs, thirst, or sheer panic. Those who survive face a bleak, lonely life in captivity, suffering from malnutrition, loneliness, depression, and stress.

Meanwhile, Indian star tortoises are seized from illegal traders more often than any other tortoise species.

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