Smuggled parrots stuffed in plastic bottles: Indonesia police

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.

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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 Thursday morning.

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

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“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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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