New Delhi (Sputnik): Police in India's national capital of New Delhi have confirmed the arrest of three people for allegedly attempting to sell more than 150 rare and endangered alexandrine parakeets and parrots. The rescued parrots were reportedly captured from rural parts of India's northern state of Punjab.
A report in the English-language Indian Express newspaper quoted the police as saying that they were tipped off by an unnamed animal welfare officer about the parakeets being brought to Delhi on a privately run bus on 16 April.
Alexandrine parakeets are in high demand globally for their ability to mimic human speech. The Switzerland-based International Union for Conservation of Nature, a global organisation working to promote nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, has described the alexandrine parakeet as a near-threatened bird species.
Police invoked sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and arrested the men on Wednesday. They have since appeared before a city court and were remanded in judicial custody until 30 April.
The rescued parrots have been handed over to the Jain Bird Hospital in the Walled City of Old Delhi as per the orders of the court.
Most parakeets fetch between $57 and $72. Those that are able to mimic human speech can fetch a price as high as $360 in the Indian market.