Papuan birds rescued from Bitung harbour

At the end of last year, the Bitung Police Criminal Investigation Unit confiscated 16 crates of Papuan bird species and parts of deer antlers and crocodile skin that were being unloaded in Bitung harbour from a ship that came from Maleuke in Papua.

Suspects were arrested, but the “owners” turned out to be an army battalion from Gorontalo returning from operations in Papua. The North Sulawesi Department of Conservation of Natural Resources took custody of the evidence and turned the birds over to Tasikoki for immediate care.

Confiscated crates

Cassowary chick, animals in very poor condtions, sulphur crested cockatoo chick, cassowary chick

The crates contained one male eclectus parrot, four young sulphur crested cockatoo chicks, 50 black-capped lories and three cassowary chicks. All the birds and animal parts were from protected species that are forbidden to poach and trade. Most of them were in very poor condition, having just travelled for weeks by boat from central Papua.

The Tasikoki team was able to respond with a quick rescue thanks to the recently sponsored vehicle. The Bitung Police headquarters are only 20 minutes drive from Tasikoki. Getting the birds back to health is challenging and costs a lot of efforts, especially the two cockatoo chicks as they still need direct feeding every few hours. Tasikoki directly received a very welcome donation from the World Parrot Trust to take care of the birds. The Papuan Ministry of Forestry has announced they are willing to cooperate to bring the birds home for a release program, so we are positive about their future, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Tasikoki Rescue Vehicle

Eclectus parrot

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