Tweeting alerts guards to birds in suitcases
The sound of birds tweeting from two suitcases at Tenerife’s north airport led to a rather unusual discovery!
For when custom officers inspected the luggage, they found 68 birds inside, 21 of them protected species and several of them dead. They were inside cages covered by raw spaghetti.
A 35-year-old man was arrested. He is of Colombian nationality and faces prosecu-tion for a crime against wildlife by trafficking in protected species and a second of animal abuse.
The discovery was made early in the morning of July 17th when the agents on duty at the airport detected sounds that seemed like trills and bird songs from two suitcases located in the baggage loading area.
The owner was traced to the passenger boarding area where he was waiting to catch an international flight. Once the suitcases were opened, it was found that there were eleven rudimentary metal mesh cages hidden among raw spaghetti to hinder their detection and mask noises and odours.
Agents found a total of 68 birds between parakeets and “lovebirds” and other exotic bird species, including 21 of protected species in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The Civil Guard said 47 of the birds located in the suitcases are freely available but the detainee lacked documentation proving their origin.
Due to the inadequate conditions in which they were kept, crammed into the suit-cases, several had died.