3 keel-billed toucans stolen from Alipore Zoo

Kolkata, Feb 26: Three exotic birds, seized by the Border Security Force (BSF) from smugglers along the Indo-Bangla border and sent to the Alipore Zoo, were stolen Today.

Three keel-billed toucans, which were handed over to us by the BSF last year, were stolen. We have lodged a police complaint and an internal inquiry has been initiated,” said AK Samanta, director of Alipore Zoo.

The three were kept in separate cages inside the aviary as they were undergoing treatment. One was free and was sitting on top of a tree trunk inside the aviary,” said Samanta.

The keel-billed toucan is a colourful Latin American bird and the national bird of Belize. It has a huge beak, almost one-third of its body size.

In the grey market, a pair can fetch more than ₹10 lakh.

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Preliminary investigations revealed that the miscreants had used a bird-catcher made of a stick and cloth to catch the birds.

They then used a 15-foot-tall ladder kept in the zoo to climb the boundary wall and flee. “There were at least two security guards within 50 meters of the aviary. There was, however, no CCTV camera in that area,” said Samanta.