Black Cockatoo for Sale on the Black Market

According to wildlife protection officials in Australia, the sales of live animals and wildlife in the black market is a profitable activity for traffickers.

In the 2009 -2010 fiscal year, Customs officials recorded 4,014 incidents for people attempted to smuggle animals, plants or other forms of species through the luggage when checked at Australia’s borders. Most of the items seized were holiday souvenirs, with a smaller portion of the items being live animals.

Due to the difficulty in smuggling live animals, the wildlife smugglers prefer to transport reptiles and snakes due to their quiet nature.

(Current illegal wildlife trade statistics.)

Ways that the smugglers transport the animals include taping the species to the person’s body or hiding the items in its luggage. Customs have stated that it has found birds stuffed in plastic tubes, snakes being held in garden potsĀ  and spiders kept in film canisters.

The reason that animal smugglers attempt to move all these items is due to the high prices the animals receive on the black market. According to officials, certain species of the black cockatoo from Australia are on sale for $31,000 (30,000 Australian Dollars).

(See more exotic pets for sale on the black market.)

Source: Carolyn Barry, “Australia’s wildlife blackmarket trade,” Australian Geographic, August 16, 2011.