Under Cover: Orange-bellied Leafbirds as Pets in Nongriat Village, Meghalaya

Ramki Sreenivasan Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

On 25th May 2019, while trekking from the village of Tyrna to Nongriat in the East Khasi hills of Meghalaya, we spotted a partially covered birdcage outside a house near the famous living-root bridge. A closer look through the camera revealed an agitated male orange-bellied leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii) fluttering from end to end. As we walked a little further, we chanced upon the owner of the house, who casually remarked that it was a pet.

Leafbirds are small, attractive songbirds … Read More

Vasant Vihar Parakeets

Prerna Singh Bindra Leave a Comment

She was like any other hawker, selling—persuasively, aggressively—extolling the qualities of her wares. Only she wasn’t ‘just another hawker’. Her wares were illegal; she was hawking parakeets, the trapping and trade of which is prohibited under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

I spotted the woman in Vasant Vihar (near Priya Cinema), Delhi, on my way to visit a very sick friend, and almost turned a blind eye. You know how it is, when the task at hand is overwhelming or … Read More

Trapped Slow Loris for Sale, Nagaland

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I visited Nagaland for a butterfly and moth survey from 6 to 14 April 2013.

While on the Dimapur – Kohima highway, just before Zubza, there were 3 people on the road holding a long bamboo pole with an animal tied at the end of the pole. We stopped to see what it was and we were shocked to see a Slow Loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) tied with a string trap. We asked him what he was doing with it. He … Read More

Seized Parakeets from Palamu, Jharkhand

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A consignment of over 350 illegally captured Rose-ringed and Plum-headed parakeet chicks was seized by the authorities of Palamau Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand. They were seized while in transit to markets.

The birds are typically captured during the nesting season in February-April and sold at a premium. Tribals capture the chicks from their nests in sal and other tall trees, and traders barter the chicks for as little as a kg of rice. They are then sold for about Rs. … Read More

Langur Pet, Taj Mahal

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I saw this langur captured and used as a pet. I found this guy at the Taj Mahal, Agra. He was sitting on this bench behind the Taj structure overlooking the river. This was photographed on 29th December 2012.

The Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) prohibits any person (other than a recognized zoo including a rescue centre) from keeping any wild animal (species listed in Schedule I to IV) in captivity without the previous permission in writing of the Chief Wildlife … Read More

Captive Slow Loris, Mokakchong, Nagaland

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A statewide Nagaland biodiversity survey was conducted by students and alumni of NCBS, Bangalore, in May-June 2011. Across sites, the teams found wild animals kept by villagers – some as pets, others for eventual consumption. These included rare mammals like Leopard Cats, Slow Loris and Stump-tailed Macaques as well as several bird species. While the team physically didn’t observe any, keeping (Blyth’s) Tragopans as pets also seemed to be a widespread hobby and a delicacy reserved for VIPs.

This Slow … Read More

Captive Hill Myna, Munnar, Kerala

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In many parts of India, people still keep wild animals captive in their homes as pets. This photographer found this captive Southern or lesser Hill Myna (Gracula indica) at a grocery store in Munnar, Kerala. The store also had a captive Malabar (blue-winged parakeet). This photo was taken in March 2012.

The Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) prohibits any person (other than a recognized zoo including a rescue centre) from keeping any wild animal (species listed in Schedule I … Read More

Captive Malabar Giant Squirrel

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In many parts of India, people still keep wild animals captive in their homes as pets. This photographer found this captive Malabar Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica) in a plantation owner’s house near Pala, Kottayyam, Kerala. The forest department was alerted and hopefully the squirrel is now free.

The Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) prohibits any person (other than a recognized zoo including a rescue centre) from keeping any wild animal (species listed in Schedule I to IV) in captivity … Read More

Increase in Incidents of Illegal Pet Keeping of Wild Birds in Meghalaya

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In response to reports of a sharp increase in incidents of captive birds kept as pets in the Gasuapara and Jatrakona areas of South Garo Hills, the Meghalaya Forest Department conducted comprehensive raids on Jun 21. A total of 10 captive birds, which included 5 Brown Fish Owls, 2 Owlets, 2 Common Drongos and 1 Bank Myna, were seized. The Veterinarian from the Forest Department will examine these birds for their health and prescribe measures for rehabilitation and release. … Read More