Staff Reporter

They are said to be Indian Squirrels

SULLURIPETA (NELLORE DT.): Officials of the Wild Life Division of Forest Department raided a hotel in Nellore district and seized 25 birds suspected to be Indian Squirrels, locally known as ‘Kamuju Pittalu'.

The birds, also known as common squirrels, come under Schedule-4 of Wild Life Protection Act. However, the hotel owner said that the birds belonged to Japanese Squirrel's origin, which will not come under the Act.

The hotel has permission to prepare dishes with squirrel's meat and the birds were brought from a farm in Chennai, he said.

On a tip off, the team headed by Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary Forest Range Officer P. Maruti Prasad Rao, raided Gomathy Hotel, located on NH-5, near Naidupeta on Friday night and seized the birds kept in cages.

Speaking to ‘The Hindu', Sulluripeta DFO (Wild Life) Ch. Parthananda Prasad said, a few birds were sent to veterinary department for examination and the remaining squirrels were kept under safe custody.

After obtaining certificate from the veterinary officials on the species of the birds, the feathers and blood samples of the squirrels would be again sent to Bombay Naturist History Society (BNHS) for confirmation of the origin, said the DFO. Based on the investigation reports, case would be booked against the hotel owner and the bird seller, said Mr. Prasad.

Corrections and Clarifications(A report "Forest officials seize 25 birds" (Andhra Pradesh, May 9, 2010, page 5) said that officials of the Wildlife Division of the Forest Department raided a hotel in Nellore district "and seized 25 birds suspected to be Indian Squirrels, locally known as 'Kamuju Pittalu'." It said the birds, also known as common squirrels, come under Schedule-4 of Wild Life Protection Act, and that feathers and blood samples of the squirrels would be sent to the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).What the Forest Department seized was the bird, the Common Quail ( Coturnix coturnix).)