Authority foils attempt to smuggle endangered hornbills in Makassar

Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - The Security and Law Enforcement Agency (BPPH) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for Sulawesi has foiled an attempt to smuggle four endangered knobbed horbills (Rhyticeros Cassidix) to Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province.

"We handed over the four Sulawesi wrinkled horbills to BKSDA of Central Sulawesi to take care. These birds are protected species. Local people call them Alo birds," Head of BPPH Muhammad Nur said here on Monday.

One female and three male hornbills were confiscated.

The birds were transported using a rented car from Buol District to Palu City in Central Sulawesi.

The exotic birds were hidden inside two cardboards and said as if they were poultry to the driver.

The car transporting the hornbills was intercepted by local law enforcement officers who were conducting a raid on street in Palu.

No address was written on the cardboard, but only a cellphone number of the package receivers has been collected by the officers.

Nur said that the Sulawesis wrinkled hornbill is considered one of the most beautiful species of all 54 species of hornbill worldwide.

However, Nur said that the population of hornbill in Indonesia, especially in Sulawesi, has declined due to deforestation and lost habitat.

"The decline in food supply and nesting places as well as poaching on the hornbill are the other causes of the declining population of hornbill," Nur said.

The Government of Indonesia has included the Sulawesi wrinkled hornbill as a protected species under Law no.7/1999.

The wrinkled hornbill, also known as the knobbed hornbill, is a colorful hornbill native to Indonesia. It is the fauna symbol of South Sulawesi Province.

This large black hornbill has a yellow bill, white tail feathers, pale blue skin around the eye, blackish feet and bare dark blue throat.

Endemic to Indonesia, the knobbed hornbill is found in Sulawesi, Buton, Lembeh, Togian and Muna Island.

Source: ANTARA News

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