One hundred and fifty six Alexandrine parakeets were seized from a trader’s house in Chennai on Friday morning. The trader was then arrested from his house.
Mujeed Hassan, who hails from Ayanavaram, had brought the parakeets from Andhra Pradesh and had meant to sold them in Chennai markets.
Speaking to The News Minute, Pradeep, Inspector, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, said, “It was a joint operation by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and Forest Vigilance Squad. We got information about the illegal trade and personnel from our department acted as buyers. We later reached his house. We conducted a search in his house and found these parakeets,” he said.
He added that Mujeed has been part of many other illegal trades in the state and will be remanded to prison.
However, a forest ranger said that they had arrested two other traders in another case on Thursday. “We had arrested two other people in another case and they gave us information about Mujeed and then we seized his house on Friday at 11:30am,” said the forest ranger.
He added that the parakeets wee too small to fly now, so they would be kept in the zoo till they grow and then released in the forest.
Asked about the reason for the illegal trade, the forest ranger said, “December and January are the breeding season for parakeets. Illegal traders poach them from forests and try to sell them,” he said.