One moment, a wild bird was flying through the rainforest the next he was flying back and forth in a cage.
This bird is just one of 10 native birds of Costa Rica who recently came to iRescue Wildlife, a nonprofit that helps wild animals in Costa Rica, after being confiscated by the government. The birds had been ripped from their homes in the rainforest and put in cages. This particular bird can sell for up to $300 on the black market, according to John Merritt, iRescue’s founder and CEO.
“Now he and the other birds will learn to fly again and build their strength,” Merritt told The Dodo.
Customs officials at Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría Airport have seen cases where wildlife traffickers have hidden birds in secret pockets sewn into their clothing, according to an investigation that came out last year. “What isn’t known is how many wildlife traffickers outwit airport x-ray machines and officials,” Mongabay reported.
As for the 10 wild birds who just recently dodged that fate, or life confined to a cage, iRescue is building enclosures so they and any others who are rescued can recover at the rescue center before being freed.
“We feel confident after these birds are put through our rehab program that all of them will be released,” iRescue wrote on Facebook.
And this confidence seems justified one bird was already strong enough to be released after just a few days.
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