|Hundreds of smuggled oriental magpie-robins were rescued by the Indonesian Border Security Task Force of Battalion 643/Wanara Sakti at the Entikong Border Post. (ANTARA/HO-Border Security Task Force/uyu)|
BorneoTribun Pontianak, West Kalimantan - Personnel from the Border Security Task Force of Infantry Battalion 643/Wanara Sakti have thwarted an attempt to smuggle 350 oriental magpie-robins (Copsychus saularis) in Entikong Sub-district, Sanggau District, West Kalimantan Province.
"We managed to secure the 350 wild oriental magpie-robins during an inspection at the border post," commander of the task force, Lieutenant Colonel Hendro Wicaksono, said in Sanggau District on Saturday.
The security personnel, led by Second Sergeant Toni, were conducting a routine inspection of vehicles at the post when they saw a suspicious car, he informed.
The car was found carrying hundreds of wild birds without official documents, he said.
"Furthermore, our personnel detained the driver of the car with the initials TN (46). In addition, we collected the data of the wild animals, which will be submitted to the Entikong Agricultural and Animal Quarantine Center for further processing," the task force commander added.
The driver told the task force that the birds were received from a Malaysian resident in the border area, he informed.
"The oriental magpie-robins were brought into Indonesia through a discreet route to be sold in Sanggau District," he said.
"We are committed to guarding the Indonesian border from any illegal acts, including the smuggling of wild animals," Wicaksono added.
A representative from the Entikong Agricultural and Animal Quarantine Center, Syam Widartoko, lauded the task force, saying it has often thwarted wildlife smuggling in border areas and has acted as a deterrent for people still trying to traffic animals.
“We thank the task force for their good coordination and cooperation, so we can save another wildlife. In the near future, we will release these wild animals to their habitats," he said.
Oriental magpie-robins are not protected by Indonesian law, he said. However, their popularity as cage-birds due to their beautiful singing has led to an increasing decline in their population in some areas, he added. (*)
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