Dozens of smuggled parrots stuffed in plastic bottles were found on a ship moored in eastern Indonesia̵
Police said the crew found 64 live parrots and 10 dead birds after hearing noises coming from a large box.
Indonesia is home to the largest number of endangered bird species in Asia and a widespread illegal bird trade.
The birds are sold in the country at giant bird markets or smuggled abroad.
The destination of the parrots found in the port city of Fakfak on Thursday morning was unclear, local police spokesman Dodik Junaidi told AFP.
“The ship’s crew told us they suspected there were animals in the box because they heard strange sounds,” he said on Friday.
No arrests have been made so far.
The seized birds have been identified as black-coated loris, a species of parrot born in New Guinea and nearby islands in the southwestern Pacific.
It is a protected species in Indonesia that is being sought illegally for the supply of pet trade, said Elizabeth John of the Wildlife Trade Surveillance Authority.
“Indonesia may be leading the accusations of intercepting bird smuggling in the region, but what is needed is more arrests and real repression of players from source to market,” she told the BBC.
This is not the first time the birds have been found hidden in plastic bottles. In 2015, Indonesian police arrested a man who was trying to smuggle 21 bottles of cockatoos, endangered birds, into bottles.
In 2017, Indonesian authorities found 125 exotic birds forced into drainage pipes after wildlife attacks that led to several arrests.
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