Indonesian Police intercepted an unusual cargo on Friday after a large container began emitting strange noises.
Police from the small town of Fakfak in the west Papua reported the discovery of 74 black-caped parrots, ten of which had died in transport, each stuffed into plastic drinking bottles.
The birds were identified as black-capped lories, which are indigenous to New Guinea and Pacific, and had clearly travelled some way. The birds are part of an international supply for the black market in exotic birds as pets.
Some of the larger caches of intercepted birds include 125 exotic birds discovered in plastic drainpipes, in 2017, and a collection of 21 yellow crested cockatoo from Australia in 2015.
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"The ship's crew told us that they suspected there were animals inside the box as they heard strange noises," a spokesperson for local police told news agency AFP.
Police were surprised but somewhat relived to discover the contraband was of parrots.
The porous region of Indonesia is an international route for smuggling wildlife and other more dangerous contraband.
Indonesian police recently declared a crackdown on black market weapons - another of the region's illegal trafficking trades.
The day before the discovery of the parrots, police from West Papua told local news they had intercepted an underground arms syndicate.
The illegal weapons had been imported from the Philippines and were destined for guerrillas in the highlands of North Sulawesi and Sorong in West Papua, reported RNZ.
The intended destination for the 74 parrots, however, was not known. So far, there have been no arrests.