HYDERABAD: The Telangana government has banned the display of the State bird, Palapitta at temples during Dasara festival. In a recent notice issued to all temples across the state, the Endowment Commissioner warned of strict action against defaulters.
In Telangana, Palapittas are believed to bring luck when seen on the eve of Dasara festival. Every year, innumerous birds would be captured by poachers and displayed at temples. Often, the birds would be treated inhumanly in this process.
In a press release, the Humane Society of India, an organisation that works for protection of animals, stated that poachers typically capture the birds a month before the festival. They tie the legs of birds with a thread, trim their wings and stick them with glue to prevent them from flying. The birds are usually starved till the day of Dasara and kept in small cages for public viewing. Most of these birds die in captivity or immediately after being released.
Responding to a letter from the Humane Society of India (HSI), the Telangana government has decided to ban this culture to save the bird. This rare bird is protected under schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Violators of this act will be awarded a penalty of Rs 25,000 and imprisonment up to three years.
C Samyukta, wildlife campaign manager for HSI India, said, “We are thankful to the Endowment Commissioner for this direction against this horrific cruelty to the State Bird of Telangana. This step will go a long way in ensuring the safety of these scheduled birds from further abuse.”