Tiktok star from Surat, Kirti Patel, on Friday, paid a penalty of Rs 25,000 to the forest department for her video with a barn owl, considered an endangered species under the Wildlife Protection Act. The 35-second video had gone viral on social media.
An NGO, Wildlife and Nature Welfare Trust, Rajkot, lodged a complaint with the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Head of Forest Force, Gandhinagar, a few days ago, saying that the act of holding an endangered species such as the owl violates different sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Twenty-six-year-old Patel has also uploaded a video on Tiktok stating that she had paid the penalty amount and appealed to people not to do anything similar.
Talking to The Indian Express, Patel said, “I did not know that holding barn owl is illegal. I have paid the penalty amount. I was shooting for my Youtube channel in a farm house near Surat airport a few days ago. Suddenly we heard dogs barking at something. When we checked, we found the owl and rescued it. I made the Tiktok video with an aim to spread a social message about humanity.”
Surat Deputy Conservator of Forest, Puneet Nayyar said, “Kirti Patel violated the rules of the Wildlife Protection Act and we have penalised her. Our team has checked with the staff at the farm house and they told us that the owl flew away. It was not harmed in any way.”
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