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A man allegedly confessed to smuggling 29 parrot eggs through the Miami airport on his way from Nicaragua to Taiwan after officers heard faint chirping noises coming from a carry-on bag, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer detected faint chirping inside a carry-on bag, AP News reported. The officer found a temperature controlled cooler containing multiple eggs, some newly hatched. The suspect, Szu Ta Wu, allegedly confessed to lacking the necessary documentation for transporting the birds.
Wu pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling birds into the United States. Wu could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, AP reported. Wu apparently claimed he had been paid by a friend to travel to Nicaragua to collect the eggs, reportedly unaware of the specific bird species involved.
Federal officials called Paul Reillo, Director of Florida International University’s (FIU) Rare Species Conservatory Foundation to help care for the eggs.
Reillo told the AP, “At that point we were off to the races. We’ve got all these eggs, the chicks are hatching, the incubator’s running and by the time it was all said and done, we hatched 26 of the 29 eggs, and 24 of the 26 chicks survived.”
“The vast majority of these trafficking cases end in tragedy. The fact that the chicks were hatching the first day of his travel from Managua to Miami tells you that it’s extremely unlikely that any of them would have survived had he actually gotten all the way to his destination in Taiwan. That would have been another 24 to 36 hours of travel,” he added.
Rare Species Conservatory Foundation tweeted Wednesday, “It has been a busy 2 months here at RSCF. We have been caring for 25 confiscated parrots smuggled to Miami from Nicaragua as eggs. These refugees of illegal wildlife trade are thriving here and our dedicated staff have been working round-the-clock to keep them happy and healthy.”
It has been a busy 2 months here at RSCF. We have been caring for 25 confiscated parrots smuggled to Miami from Nicaragua as eggs. These refugees of illegal wildlife trade are thriving here and our dedicated staff have been working round-the-clock to keep them happy and healthy. pic.twitter.com/I0RlQSARtn
— Rare Species Conservatory Foundation (@rscfusa) May 25, 2023
Taiwanese national Szu Ta Wu flew to Nicaragua for a rendezvous at a hotel, where he picked up the bird eggs before making his way to Miami International Airport. https://t.co/DZ0mLC0PjS
— Miami New Times (@miaminewtimes) May 25, 2023
Chirping sounds from a passenger’s carry-on bag alerted Miami airport officials to 29 smuggled parrot eggs and hatching chicks swiped from a Central American forest. Twenty-four survived and are thriving at a Florida wildlife center. https://t.co/brnbHyn17j
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 25, 2023
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Hmmmm, our country is toast. Just think of what comes into the country that’s not detected by these clowns. Gotta love how our once great country is now home to anyone and everything. Multi culturalism
Probably carrying new diseases