Indonesian smugglers caught stuffing rare birds into bottles

More than two dozen endangered cockatoos have been rescued by police who found the birds crammed in plastic bottles by smugglers.

According to Viralspell, the smugglers stuffed the yellow-crested cockatoos in empty water bottles to get them through customs at Port of Tanjung Perak, in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Indonesian police found the birds and released them, and sent them for a medical check-up.

The birds can be sold for as much as $1,000 each.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources listed the yellow-crested cockatoo as a critically endangered species in 2007.

Its population has declined because of deforestation and poaching and the latest studies estimate their count at fewer than 7,000 individuals.

The authorities believe that more than 10,000 wild parrots, including lories and cockatoos, are captured in North Halmahera, Indonesia, every year to be sold in the illegal domestic and international trades.

An estimated 40 per cent of the birds die during the smuggling process.

Making the recovery particularly challenging is the fact that yellow-crested cockatoos breed very slowly and lay eggs only once a year. They produce only two eggs at a time.

Visit STOMP for more stories.