A recent raid by Indonesian authorities found 125 birds, including eclectus parrots and endangered white cockatoos, stuffed into drain pipes that were sealed at each end with wire. The birds were to be smuggled out of Indonesia to the Philippines, where they would be sold as “pets.” Four men who were behind this cruel act have been arrested and, if found guilty, will be imprisoned and fined.
Though the Indonesian government is making attempts to curb poaching and the illegal trafficking of animals in that country, the nation has several avian markets, three of which are considered to be among the largest, if not the largest, in Southeast Asia.
At these markets, hundreds of thousands of birds of various species are crammed into wire and bamboo cages. They’re exposed to scorching temperatures, malnourished, and left to suffer as vendors try to sell them to spectators and traffickers.
When trappers and poachers take wild species away from their natural habitats, the animals often change hands several times through intermediaries and exporters. Like the birds caught in this raid, they endure grueling transport conditions. Stolen bird and reptile eggs are concealed in special vests so that couriers can bypass X-ray machines at airports. Baby turtles have been taped so that they’re trapped inside their shells and shoved by the dozen into tube socks, and infant pythons have been shipped in CD cases.
Animals who survive long enough to be sold are often subject to inadequate care. Because caretakers are frequently unprepared or unable to address the needs of exotic species who are so far removed from their natural habitats, many animals will likely die or be abandoned.
No bird was born to live in a cage.
Many people buy birds, not knowing of the cruelty that they’ll be inflicting on them and often underestimating the care that they need. In the wild, birds would never leave their flock, but those kept as “pets” rarely have the opportunity to see another bird in their lifetime. They’re often kept in cramped cages, where they’re unable even to stretch their wings and never know the joy of flying or the happiness of freedom.
What You Can Do
Never buy exotic animals from dealers or pet shops. Animal shelters and rescue groups are filled with animals who need good homes. Please don’t visit bird markets or any other animal parks or attractions. Animals aren’t ours to use for entertainment, and they aren’t ours to exploit.