Agartala: Pawsome, an NGO working for the rights of animals in Tripura, on Saturday busted a wildlife smuggling racket in Agartala while the accused was trying to sell wild birds to a local pet shop.
Speaking with EastMojo, Wrighbed Dutta, general secretary of Pawsome, said that 12 baby parrots and three Indian hill mynahs were recovered from the smuggler’s possession. “We were trying to prevent a wildlife smuggling racket for the last few months. We conducted a sting operation with the help of our informer and a local pet store owner to identify and locate the smuggler,” Dutta said.
He also said that the smuggler was apprehended by the volunteers of the NGO and was identified as Ratnadeep Das. He confessed that he had brought the birds from a person living in Teliamura of Khowai district.
“The whole racket involves illegally hatching birds from the forest and supplying them illegally across the state. We caught him red-handed with the birds while he was selling them to a local pet shop. We have handed him over to the forest department,” Dutta added.
These birds have a good demand in the market and are sold at a price of Rs 750 for every parrot and Rs 1,150 for each mynah.
Sadar subdivisional forest range officer Prasenjit Debbarma said that the smuggler was handed over to the local police station with charges under Wildlife Protection Act.
“The smuggler identified as a resident of Noabari village of Jirania in West Tripura district and he was allegedly involved in this illegal activity for a long time. Volunteers of Pawsome apprehended him and later handed him over to us. He was taken for medical test and kept in the custody of a local police station,” Debbarma said.
He also said that the birds rescued from them would be handed over to the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary.
Pawsome, an NGO founded in 2016, is run by a group of youths in Agartala working for the welfare and rights of the animals. The NGO has rescued over 700 dogs from being smuggled outside the state and providing meals to stray dogs on a daily basis.