74 parrots stuffed into plastic water bottles found on ship in Indonesia

Dozens of parrots stuffed into plastic bottles were found in a ship that docked in Indonesia’s eastern region of Papua.

Police said the crew discovered 64 live parrots and 10 dead birds after hearing noises coming from inside a large box.

Indonesia is home to the highest number of threatened bird species in Asia and a rampant illegal trade in birds.

Birds are sold domestically in giant avian markets or smuggled abroad.

The final destination of the parrots found in the port town of Fakfak was unclear.

The seized birds were identified as black-capped lories, a type of parrot native to New Guinea and nearby islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean.

It is a protected species in Indonesia that is sought-after illegally to supply the pet trade, said Elizabeth John from the wildlife trade watchdog Traffic.

It’s not the first time that birds have been discovered hidden inside plastic bottles. In 2015 Indonesian police arrested a man who was trying to smuggle 21 yellow-crested cockatoos, an endangered bird, in bottles.

In 2017 Indonesian authorities found 125 exotic birds forced inside drain pipes after wildlife raids that led to several arrests.