UWA SEIZES AFRICAN PARROTS AT CONGO BORDER
(Posted 18th September 2013)
Vigilant officials have impounded a haul of 25 parrots at the Mpondwe border post between Uganda and Congo DR, as the birds were about to be taken out of the country into the Congo, where the present state of civil war in the Eastern part of the country has provided a conducive environment to ship birds, reptiles and other animals, including blood ivory and skins, to third countries. The suspect is presently at large but as a detailed description has been obtained from witnesses is now being sought by the Uganda Police for arrest and prosecution.
The birds have since been taken to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe where they have been examined by a UWA veterinarian but sadly one of the birds has since arrival already died as a result of the traumatic experience. All the birds are of relatively young age and they will be cared for until a release at a later stage can be organized. Only a few weeks ago has Jane Goodall, during a visit to the Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary, released a batch of such parrots into the wild again, as was reported here at the time.
This is not the first such seizure of the African Grey as they fetch up to 4.000 US Dollars abroad. Even in Uganda have many diplomats and senior business and society figures made it a bad habit to hold the African Grey in cages after buying the illegally off the black market, but few cases have been brought to court or prosecuted, even though in literally all cases the birds were acquired through illegal means. Congratulations to the border security and customs staff who have once again done a good job.