Picture credit: Anuja Parashar
Animal rescue organisation data say more than hundred ring- necked and Alexandrine parakeets are rescued in a year.
The Alexandrine and Indian Rose Ring Parakeets, which are wildlife species are kept as pets in many Indian households.
Naina, a volunteer at the People FOR Animals (PFA) said that people keep them as pets because they don’t realise that they belong in the wild. “People have a hard time believing that the bird they feed every day cannot be a pet and belongs to the Indian wild life,” said Naina.
Wildlife Welfare Association (WWA) in their website mentioned that parakeets are protected under the Wild life Protection Act 1972 schedule IV. If someone keeps them as pets, they would be fined an amount of Rs 5000 and six years of jail. Navaz Sharif, chief veterinarian at PFA said that despite the prohibition by the Indian wildlife protection Act, people continue to keep parakeets as pets. “People don’t understand that we cannot keep wild life as pets,” says Sharif.
Arti, a rescue co-ordinator at Avian and Reptile Rehabilitation Centre ,Bangalore said that they have received around 130 parakeets between April 2021 and March 2022 and 110 between April 2022 and November 2022. “We rescue these parakeets, take care of them and then free them once they are release-able.,” said Arrti.
Ardhendu D, owner of a parakeet said that initially he was unaware of the fact that the bird he brought home two years ago was not allowed to be a pet, “I did not know that the parakeets are part of the wild life,” said Ardhendu.
Karthik, curator at PFA said that parakeets often are made to fall prey to victims of cruelty by humans. People who sell these birds, steal the young parakeet chicks from the nest, and then clip their wings so that the bird loses its ability to fly. “We rescue the birds which get injured or have lost their ability to fly because once they forget to fly, they would not be able to survive in the wild,” said Karthik. He also said that people like the fortune tellers often use these birds as part of their business and sometimes, people refuse to release these birds despite knowing that they belong to the wild life. The rescue data of rose-ringed and Alexadrine parakeets (2021-22) provided by PFA says that in the year 2021, a total of 116 birds while in 2022, till November they received 122 of these birds till date.
Ruchi Sharma, an individual who rescue these birds said that she buys the birds from the dealers who keep them in captivation .She then fosters them till they can be released into the wild. Key words: Parakeets, wildlife, birds.