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Rare African, South American birds seized in Sri Lanka

September 11, 1997

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lankan customs officials seized a shipment of endangered African and South American birds being smuggled into the country from Singapore.

Eight birds, including a blue and gold macaw, two yellow-headed Amazon parrots, a blue-fronted Amazon parrot and an African gray parrot were seized by customs officials at Colombo’s international airport on Aug. 27, Samantha Gunasekera, a customs official, said Thursday. The three other birds were not endangered species.

The seizure was kept secret until officials concluded their investigation. The birds are estimated to be worth at least $17,000, Gunasekera said.

Sri Lanka is a popular transit point for traffickers of endangered species because of weak laws against offenders.

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