The Indragiri Hilir Police in Riau have thwarted an attempt to smuggle 38 parrots worth an estimated Rp 380 million (US$25,340) to Singapore.
The police handed over the cockatoos to the Riau chapter of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BBKSDA) on Tuesday.
The agency’s head, Suharyono, said on Tuesday that the cockatoos were of various species, including the palm cockatoo, the white cockatoo and the yellow-crested cockatoo.
He explained that the police received information from the community about plans to smuggle cockatoos from Jambi to Riau earlier this week. The police then managed to arrest the suspect in Tembilahan subdistrict, Indragiri Hilir regency, on Sunday.
Suharyono reported that one cockatoo died en route to Indragiri Hilir from Pekanbaru, Riau.
The cockatoos are temporarily being kept in transit cages owned by the agency as they recover. Suharyono said he suspected that the cockatoos had been domesticated, so the habituation process might take a long time.
“If they cannot survive in nature, we will entrust them to people who own a valid care permit,” he said, adding that the agency was also willing to return the protected animal back to its habitat in Papua.
“The cockatoos' [natural] habitat is located only in the eastern part of Indonesia,” he said. (sau)