It is illegal to keep the migratory birds in captivity
A few days ago, there was an interesting video of Challenging Star Darshan taking a journalist around at his farm in Mysuru. An animal lover, Darshan is known to keep a variety of animals – horses, cows, buffaloes, goats, varieties of dogs, ducks, geese, swans, parrots, fish and more – at the farm. In the video, Darshan could be heard proudly talking about the different species of birds he’s got from different parts of the world, including black swans from Australia and bar-headed geese from Mongolia. Given that the actor is the ambassador for the Karnataka Forest Department, the assumption is that he would be aware about rules and regulations regarding exotic animals in private care and that he would not flout any of them.
Well, turns out that raising bar-headed geese, which are migratory birds and make seasonal visits to Mysuru, in captivity is an offence. Following the now viral video, forest department officials conducted a raid on the actor’s farm and took away the birds that were houses illegally. Darshan is yet to issue a statement on this development.
The actor, who is bang in the middle of promotions of his film Kranti, which comes out on January 26, was at the farm for the harvest festival, as he joins his staff in the kichchu haisodu traditions, wherein livestock is made to run through fire to ward off evil influences. In the past, images of the actor and his staff leading their animals through flaming hay as part of the ritual, have been in the public domain.
It must be noted that during the pandemic, when zoos were cash-strapped on account of no visitors, the actor had led an adoption drive of animals, urging fellow artistes and other citizens to make modest contributions that would help in the day-to-day running of the institution. Darshan is said to have led a Rs 1 crore adoption drive for the Mysuru zoo.