Pink flamingos were rescued after traffickers tried to ship them in a parcel at the Merida airport, authorities said. Photo: Courtesy

Traffickers tried to steal six pink flamingos, packed into three wooden boxes found later at the Merida airport, authorities told local media.

Five of the iconic, endangered species were rescued but were suffering from dehydration. One died during the ordeal. Their wings were also clipped, authorities said.

Personnel from the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa), with help from the National Guard, seized the specimens at the Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport. The birds were taken to the Centenario zoo to receive care.

The rescue follows a Nov. 15 incident in which the National Guard secured a shipment at the Mérida airport with 27 specimens of reptile. The courier lacked adequate conditions for the live cargo and did not produce proper documentation.

Authorities noticed the wiggling cardboard box bound for Tijuana when it inspected the parcel.

Inside the shipment were three snakes, 20 spiny-tailed iguanas, two geckos and two basilisk lizards, all protected by federal law. Again, the creatures were suffering from dehydration. Several could have died if not rescued, Profepa said.

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