Bulgarian Customs Capture 12 Toucans at Turkish BorderCrime | December 19, 2011, Monday // 13:59| views
12 toucans have been captured at the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Photo from Customs Agency
Bulgarian customs officers have uncovered the trafficking of 12 toucans – exotic South American birds – at the Kapitan Andreevo crossing on the border with Turkey.
The toucans (Pteroglossus viridis Green Aracari) were found in a "luxury" jeep with Bulgarian license plates entering Bulgaria, according to the Customs Agency.
The three passengers in the jeep, who are Bulgarian citizens, "claimed that the toucans were theirs, and refused to give them away for a long time," the Agency said.
The toucans were found to be in individual cages, and in good condition.
The exotic birds did not have any papers, and their owners failed to notify the Bulgarian customs a day in advance about the birds, the institution points out.
"The customs inspectors found a temporary shelter for the birds and went around all local stores to provide them with the necessary fruit. One of these bird costs between EUR 1500 and EUR 2000 according to market prices," the Customs stated.
The Customs Agency later turned in the toucans to an environmental NGO, Green Balkans (Zeleni Balkani).
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