Kazakhstan Nabs Parrot Smuggler

by Nathan Hamm on 1/23/2007 · 4 comments

ok, so this technically isn't a parrot. sue me.Wow. MosNews quality from Reuters.

“Border guards discovered a live cargo of 500 parrots in his car,” Kazakhstan Today news agency quoted a KNB security service official as saying.

Reuters says that it was not clear how the guy fit 500 parrots into an Audi. Well, I am certain it involved a little bit of ingenuity…

But what I would really like to know is who is smuggling parrots out of Uzbekistan. Where did they originate? Where are they destined for? I have far more important things to concern myself with, but this is what I will be thinking about until at least tomorrow.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Rachel January 24, 2007 at 7:08 am

Most likely they were captured in So. America or Africa, poor little guys — many more will have died in the capture and from being crated up and drugged. Often the parents are killed or injured and left to die — the young are easier to handle, more likely to become tame eventually, but need greater care to survive. Many parrots are quite intelligent and few wild caught birds will ever be “good” pets, or trust humans enough to bond well — but the next generation, if lovingly hand-raised by a person, could be as sweet and gentle a companion as anyone would wish to know. Most of the people who buy these smuggled birds, unless they are bird breeders, will get tired of the noise and mess that go with parrots, and the bites that go with a terrified and miserable parrot — few of the birds have long or happy lives ahead. It’s a painfully sad way to make money, horrible for the birds as individuals and as species. In the long run it deprives all of us.

william January 24, 2007 at 10:32 am

what about the girl from who has a website which allows someone to buy framed ‘pictures’ that are sold in various sizes as ‘art’; the ‘pictures’ contain hundreds of tropical butterfly that are caught in the worlds rain forests?

Dolkun January 24, 2007 at 11:21 pm

I wonder if one key to your sizing mystery is the confusion between parrots and parakeets. In Russian, the word, “попугай” is used for both.

It might also explain the origin and the market. A lot of people in the FSU keep parakeets, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some enterprising Uzbek is breeding them. I myself have had parakeets, but there were too many bones 😉

Dianne Kopser January 28, 2007 at 12:46 am

Yeah, you could fit 500 baby birds into an audi, if they were jammed in with no real space to move or breathe. I have a rescued Hahn’s Macaw, siezed in a drug raid. She’s totally traumatized, and used to lunge at spoons (someone fed her drugs) and bite a lot. She’s recovering now, but still isn’t super chummy. I hate what her previous ‘owners’ have done to her, and encourage ecotourism for fools who want to spend a load of cash on a pretty bird.

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