HYDERABAD: Subhash Agarwal was proud of his parrot. It was an Alexandrine parakeet. He took good care of it, feeding it and talking to it. It became part of his family. But on Monday, AP Forest Department officials came to his house and took away the bird. Reason: Parrots are scheduled birds under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. And the parting shot was that they slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Agarwal. A resident of Malakpet, the 55-year-old businessman did not know that keeping the parrot was an offence under the law. “The punishment was mile because Agarwal was not aware that keeping scheduled birds as pets is a punishable offence," said V Tirumala Rao, a forest range officer in the Anti-Poaching Squad.of the Forest Department. "Had he kept it knowingly, he would have been sent to prison.” Agarwal's Alexandrine is now lodged at the Nehru Zoo in Hyderabad. The Forest Department is also hot on the trail of other more sinister bird captors. Said Tirumala Rao, “We have nabbed bird smugglers who traffick in parrots and other endangered birds caught in different parts of the state,” he informed. This year, some 52 parrots have been thus rescued and sent to the zoo. Murgi Chowk in the Old City used to be the place where sale of bird ‘pets’— not just parakeets, but cockatoos, 'love birds' etc — was carried out openly for decades. All of that trade is illegal, and the forest staff periodically carry out raids there. Officials say parrot sale has almost come to an end in Hyderabad and its suburbs.