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Three owls rescued from traffickers

Three persons arrested

February 12, 2018 01:14 am | Updated 01:14 am IST - Bengaluru

 The rescued owls have been sent to a wildlife rehabilitation facility. Three persons have been arrested in the case.

The rescued owls have been sent to a wildlife rehabilitation facility. Three persons have been arrested in the case.

Three owls were rescued from traffickers near Chintamani in Chickballapur district recently.

On February 9, officials of the Chickballapur division of the Forest Department set up an decoy and lured three persons from a tribal community who were selling three Indian Eagle Owls. The birds were found in a dehydrated state and had minor injuries, said officials.

“The birds were being sold as pets for black magic. The superstitious belief is that possessing the birds as pets will bring wealth,” said Manjunath, Deputy Conservator of Forests. The three persons were arrested and the birds sent to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

Capture and trading of the owl species has been banned under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. “These owls are unfortunately classified under Schedule 4 of the Wildlife Protection Act, which attracts among the lowest quantums of punishment for wildlife crimes. This, combined with the fact that there are several misconceptions about the use of owls in black magic and other occult practices, invites people into this trade,” said a release from Sumanth Bindumadhav, wildlife campaign manager for Humane Society International-India, who assisted the forest team.

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