As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Rare macaws confiscated in first seizure of live birds in Hong Kong for a decade

Smugglers escape in speedboat, leaving haul of endangered species and 14 boxes of furs worth a total of HK$2 million

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2016, 5:09pm

Forty-six endangered macaws were confiscated along with 24 magpie robins and 14 boxes of furs in an anti-smuggling operation on Lantau Island.

The consignment worth HK$2 million was the first such seizure of live birds in the city in a decade, according to a police source with knowledge of the operation.

Marine police and customs officers launched the raid on Monday night as the goods were being loaded on to a Shenzhen-bound speedboat.

“Because of the scare of bird flu, no live birds had been discovered in any sea-bound smuggling activities in the past 10 years,” the source said on Tuesday.

It is understood a macaw is worth about HK$10,000 in Hong Kong. “But they can be sold for between HK$20,000 and HK$30,000 each on mainland China,” the source said. “A rare species could be sold for as much as US$20,000.”

He believed the macaws were imported into the city legitimately but were being exported illegally to escape stringent restrictions imposed by mainland authorities.

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