Two persons were detained on Saturday by the Customs and Forest departments in the West Bengal's Malda district for travelling with birds of rare species without valid documents. Altogether, 24 exotic birds, valued at around Rs. 18 lakh, were found in their possession.

The Forest department recovered 5 Red-vented Cockatoo from Philippines, 4 Blue and Yellow Macaw, 10 African Grey Parrots and five Australian Galahs from the possession of Rajesh Shaw and Biplab Bhattacharya.

The two men were identified as residents of the State's South Dinajpur district. They were intercepted on the National Highway 34 at Kaliachak area of the district in the early hours of the morning by a joint team of the two departments. The birds have been kept at the Adina Deer Forest in the district.

“All the 24 birds are exotic and at present they are kept at Adina Forest. The value of these birds is about Rs. 18 lakh,” Ajay Kumar Dube, Divisional Forest Officer of the Malda district, told The Hindu.

The DFO said there was a provision under the Forest Act on the trading of birds and the department had asked those detained to produce valid documents.

Forest Officials said that the “exotic birds” were brought into the district from Bangladesh through Hili in South Dinajpur and taken to Kolkata.

Keywords: rare birds

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