Sat, 15 Mar 2003

Police seize 15 endangered species

JAKARTA: Wildlife watchdog ProFauna and the Jakarta office of the Coordinating Body for Natural Resources Protection (BKSDA) at the Ministry of Forestry seized on Friday 15 species of endangered and protected animals.

Backed by Jakarta Police detectives from the special unit for animal protection, the first raid took place at the bird market on Jl. Barito, South Jakarta, and later at a "mini zoo" inside a liquor factory in Sukamulya, Cikupa, Tangerang.

In the first raid, ProFauna seized a cockatoo, a long-tailed parakeet and a pair of civets, to which none of the traders lay claim.

The next raid was a big catch. From the private collection of the factory owner, identified only as H, the officials confiscated pairs of Irian cassowary, hornbills, different species of rare cockatoos and hawks, a pair of long-tailed parakeets, one black-headed parrot, one Ternate kasturi bird and a kangaroo.

Coordinator of ProFauna's Jakarta branch Hardi Baktiantoro said the police would summon H, who was not at the factory during the raid. Law No. 5/1990 on biodiversity conservation carries a punishment of five years in jail or a Rp 100 million (US$11,235) fine for possession of a protected species.

All of the animals were taken to the animal rescue unit in Tegal Alur, West Jakarta.--JP