ASUNCIóN, Paraguay – An act of "fowl" play was thwarted when police in Paraguay rescued 211 protected parrots taken from the remote forests of Paraguay and arrested four culprits.
Veterinarian Carlos Britos of Paraguay's environmental ministry identified the rescued birds as Blue-fronted Amazon parrots, whose scientific name is Amazona aestiva. He says many are still juveniles and were taken from their nests. He said Wednesday that they are being cared for by government biologists in a national park, and will be returned to the wild once they can fly.
The police arrested four people allegedly responsible for the shipment in the vicinity of Neuland Mennonite colony, 350 kilometers -- or about 218 miles -- from the capital of Asunción.
Blue-fronted Amazons are among the parrots most commonly kept as house pets. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says more than 400,000 of them have been caught in the wild and traded. But stealing wild animals and plants is a crime in Paraguay, punishable by up to eight years in prison.
"Apparently, the birds were hunted in their own nests in the Chaco forest trees. Were to be sold in different cities of Paraguay," Britos said.
"The plumage is very beautiful with green, blue part, the edge of its wings is red and orange eyes," he added.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.