Acting on a tip from a concerned citizen, PETA India and officials from the Maharashtra Forest Department entered an apartment in Mumbai on Thursday to rescue a monkey and three parakeets – both species are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 – who were being illegally held in an individual’s home.
The animals were found to be suffering from serious health issues: The parakeets’ wings and tails had all but withered off, and the monkey, who was being kept chained in a small metal cage, was obese from lack of exercise and an unnatural diet. The animals are currently recovering at the Forest Department’s facility and will soon be transferred to an animal orphanage in Pune for rehabilitation. The unlawful custodian – an elderly woman in failing health – voluntarily surrendered the animals and, after being warned about the legal consequences of illegally keeping protected wild animals, pledged not to do so in the future.
Wild animals belong in their natural habitats. Keeping them in captivity, as “pets” or for any other reason, is both morally wrong and punishable by up to seven years imprisonment and a fine of at least Rs. 10,000.