Pesquet’s parrot. Wikipedia photo
MANILA – The Wildlife authorities had seized nearly 100 exotic animals that had been smuggled into the Southern Philippines on Tuesday, Feb. 25, AFP reported.
These species were composed of 66 wild birds, including a rare Pesquet’s parrot, as well as assorted reptiles and mammals such as a long-beaked echidna, a Malayan box turtle, and 10 sugar gliders — squirrel-like animals that can glide from tree to tree.
Ali Hadjinasser, the regional chief of the government wildlife board said that the maritime police seized a total of 93 animals from Indonesia and Australia on Saturday.
Five Filipinos who transported the animals will be charged with illegal possession and transport of those species, he added.
Due to the animals’ extended confinement in small cages, some of them didn’t survive, the government wildlife board chief said.
Last week, 100 similar animals were seized by wildlife officers in the southern Philippines.
“They (the two shipments) could be connected. They may have one source because the animals were almost the same types. They may have a large stock so they may have divided it into two,” Hadjinasser told AFP.
Josefina de Leon, the head of the government’s wildlife division believes that the shipments were suspected to have originated from the same international syndicate which sells the animals to local collectors.
She underscored that the two large seizures were a sign of improved training of wildlife authorities and better cooperation from the public.
“Enforcement is better because there are concerned citizens who are now assisting us in catching the perpetrators,” she said.
The smuggling of exotic animals, officials said, could also spread disease to local animal populations.
With Reports from Agence France-Presse