Dozens of parrots were freed from being stuffed in plastic water bottles on a ship docked in Fakfak, Indonesia’s West Papua region. Picture: AFP Photo/The Joint Team of Fakfak Marine Police, Natural Resources Conservation and Indonesian Coast Guard
Dozens of parrots were freed from being stuffed in plastic water bottles on a ship docked in Fakfak, Indonesia’s West Papua region. Picture: AFP Photo/The Joint Team of Fakfak Marine Police, Natural Resources Conservation and Indonesian Coast Guard

Smuggled parrots found stuffed into plastic bottles on ship

By AFP Time of article published Nov 20, 2020

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Fakfak, Indonesia - Dozens of parrots stuffed into plastic water bottles have been discovered on a ship docked in Indonesia's Papua region, authorities said Friday.

Police in the town of Fakfak said the vessel's crew reported hearing noises coming from a large box where 64 live black-capped lories and another 10 dead birds were found on Thursday morning.

Black-capped lories are a type of parrot native to New Guinea and nearby smaller islands.

"The ship's crew told us that they suspected there were animals inside the box as they heard strange noises," said local police spokesman Dodik Junaidi.

No arrests had been made so far and the birds' intended destination was unclear, he added.

Dozens of parrots stuffed into plastic water bottles discovered on a ship docked in Fakfak, Indonesia’s West Papua region. Picture: The Joint Team of Fakfak Marine Police/ KP3, Natural Resources Conservation/ BKSDA and Indonesian Coast Guard/AFP

The vast jungles of Indonesia are home to more than 130 threatened bird species, according to wildlife trade watchdog TRAFFIC, more than any other country except Brazil.

But there is also large-scale illegal trading of birds, which sees them sold in giant avian markets in Indonesia's major cities, or smuggled abroad.

Exotic birds are usually poached and trafficked by smuggling gangs for sale as pets and status symbols.

Certain species of bird, such as the Australian palm cockatoo, can sell for as much as $30 000 (about R460 000) on the black market.

In 2017, Indonesian authorities found some 125 exotic birds stuffed inside drain pipes during a wildlife smuggling raid.

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