In a joint operation, the police authorities thwarted an attempt to smuggle over 800 prohibited birds from the Chidiya Bazaar in the Nakkhas area of the state capital.
A team, including Chowk police station personnel, representatives from PETA India, and the forest department, -- worked in tandem to arrest two individuals involved in this illegal wildlife trade.
The seized birds, which included 60 parrots, four sun conures, 49 cockatiel birds, 221 vanjari, 182 finches, and other rare and protected species, were on the verge of being illegally sold when the law enforcement team intervened on Sunday evening.
Commenting on the operation, a spokesperson for the police said, "The men were booked under various sections of the Wildlife Conservation Act 1972 and Cruelty to Animals Act 1960."
After receiving a tipoff from a concerned individual about the illegal wildlife trade in the market, the group sought the intervention of Chiranjeev Nath Sinha, additional deputy commissioner of police, Lucknow West, to rescue the birds and bring the perpetrators to book.
Sinha promptly assembled a team, raided two godowns, and rescued the birds. The rescued birds had been kept in cramped conditions, and eight of them were found dead, apparently due to severe crowding and suffocation.
An FIR has been registered by the Kotwali police station against the perpetrators under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972 (as amended in 2022); the Indian Penal Code, 1860; and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
Two of the five accused individuals were arrested, while the other three fled. The police are on the lookout for the other accused.
The birds are currently in the custody of the Lucknow Forest Division, and they are expected to be released back into their natural habitat after examination by a veterinarian and upon receiving the court's permission.
(With inputs from IANS)