The Jakarta Post
Officers at Pangkalbalam Port in Pangkalpinang, Bangka Belitung, have foiled an attempt to smuggle hundreds of hummingbirds.
Pangkalpinang Quarantine Agency head Saifuddin Zuhri said the port officers seized around 430 hummingbirds kept inside several boxes on Sunday. The birds were found aboard the KM Sawita and were on their way in a shipment to Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta.
“These birds are protected because they help pollination in the wild. We could find no health certificates for these animals, so we believe the shipment is illegal,” Zuhri said on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.
He went on to say authorities would release the birds into the wild.
“We will release the birds in Pelawan forest in Namang, Central Bangka regency. We’ve already cooperated with the Alobi Foundation and the local natural resources conservation agency [BKSDA].”
The officers are investigating the smuggling attempt.
The operation on Sunday was the third time port officers have thwarted hummingbird-smuggling attempts within this year. During the last two operations, they found a total of 1,700 birds.
According to the 2019 Animal Quarantine Law, any person found smuggling or transporting animals without proper documents face up to two years’ imprisonment and fines of Rp 2 billion (US$142,000).