Merida, Yucatan — Federal authorities on Friday seized several cages housing exotic birds for sale at the Lucas de Galvez market.
Agents from the Federal Attorney’s Office for Environmental Protection (Profepa) were seen loading trucks with toucans and other species allegedly sold illegally.
One private Facebook page included photos of the seizure with a caption expressing joy that the birds were liberated.
“Friends, I’m very happy because they just confiscated several birds (including a couple of toucans) in the city center,” Katuzy Rodríguez said, in Spanish. “Profepa doing its job. Hopefully the next step is to enforce the law, those responsible will be sanctioned and our friends be free again.”
Profepa has not reported what will happen to the confiscated birds. It’s not clear that they are released to the wild.
The same agency carried out a similar operation in the Lucas de Galvez market in 2015 when birds and other wildlife were confiscated, said La Jornada Maya.
La Verdad calls illegal animal trafficking an open secret at Lucas de Galvez. Rabbits, ducks and chickens — and occasional ocelots and other jungle cats rounded up in Quintana Roo and Campeche — are seen clearly in overcrowded, smelly stacked-up cages.
Sources: La Jornada Maya, La Verdad