The forest department officials on Saturday raided a private farm at Kalapathar and rescued 12 peafowl from captivity. The rescued birds, one of which was found to be sick, were shifted to the Nehru Zoological Park in the city.

Based on a tip-off, a team of the forest department anti-poaching squad raided the farm premises of a businessman where the peafowl were allegedly kept in captivity. “We had reliable information for sometime and have been following the leads closely,” said Sk. Baba Quader Vali, Deputy Range Officer.

Peafowl are listed as Schedule-1 protected species and keeping them in captivity is prohibited under the Wildlife Protection Act, Mr.Vali said. “We are trying to catch the persons involved in the case and intend to book cases under relevant provisions. We also have to find out where the birds were procured from,” he said.

The Nehru Zoological Park Curator, A.Sankaran said the peafowl were shifted to quarantine for observation by veterinary team. “Our personnel are attending on the sick bird. Others look healthy and comfortable,” he said.

The zoo already has a good number of peacock and peahen and apart from those in the display enclosure, more could be found roaming the premises. “About 50 to 60 peafowl are free ranging in the safari and other parts of the zoo,” Mr.Sankaran said.

Based on the health report and as per the outcome of the case resulting from the raid and rescue, the forest officials would take a decision on next course of action. “If found fit and healthy, they might be recommended for release in the wild,” he added.

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