GRAPHIC IMAGES: 24 Yellow-Crested Cockatoos Found Being Smuggled In Bottles In Indonesia

The critically endangered parrots were given medical attention by rescuers.

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Editor Note: Every link, except the Bird Life International link, lead to articles with graphic images

A bit of good news out of Surabaya, Indonesia, where 24 lesser sulphur-crested cocaktoos or yellow-crested cockatoos that were being smuggled were found by police. The bad news part: the cockatoos had been stuffed inside empty bottles, and it is not pretty to look at. As the BBC writes, “They were kept inside bottles to stop them from flapping.”

Lesser sulphur-crested cockatoos are endemic to Timor-Leste and Indonesia, according to Bird Life International, and “[the population] has undergone a dramatic decline, which is still ongoing, particularly in the last quarter of the 20th century, such that it is now extinct on many islands and close to extinction on most others.” They estimate the population is around 1,500 to 7,000 mature individuals. The lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The BBC reports that the birds “are known to sell through legal channels for as much as [$1,500] each.”

The Metro reports that every year, “more than 10,000 parrots are caught from Indonesia to be sold on ?but 40 percent die in the smuggling process.”

The Metro reports the birds were cut out of the bottles, and given medical treatment. A large number of green parrots were found too, but no reports indicated what they were.

Bird Life writes, “[the lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo population’s] precipitous decline is almost entirely attributable to unsustainable exploitation for internal and international trade. Illegal trapping continues in many areas including Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park, Buton and Kadatua Islands, but has reportedly been reduced significantly on Sumba. Large-scale logging and conversion of forest to agriculture across its range has exacerbated the decline, and the use of pesticides since around 1989 is a further potential threat.”

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