In Jakarta, Indonesia, four men have been charged with smuggling 125 exotic birds which allegedly had been stuffed into drain pipes for the purpose of illegal wildlife trade. Authorities stated 41 white cockatoos and 84 ecletus parrots were discovered squeezed into the plastic pipes which were sealed at each end by wire.
According to the BBCNews, Indonesia is home to the largest illegal trade of birds, where they are trapped in the jungles and sold in giant avian markets abroad as pets and status symbols. Separate raids in different parts of eastern Indonesia led to the arrests of the men. Yahoo News reports the birds may have been headed to the Philippines linking the suspects to “a parrot smuggling network there.”
White cockatoos are native to Indonesia’s North Maluku province and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Statistics bear out just 43,000 and 183,000 white cockatoos are left in the world, however their numbers continue to quickly decrease because of poaching and trapping.
If found guilty, the men face jail sentences of up to five years and fines of 100m Rupiah ($7,400).
(Photos of exotic birds via AFP screenshots)
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