A total of 9,600 songbirds were confiscated and rescued from illegal captivity on November 17 in Java Indonesia.

In a report by The Dodo, Indonesian police and quarantine officials confiscated over 6,000 birds that included songbirds, sunbirds, tailorbirds, bulbuls, leafbirds and nuthatches from a truck. 1,536 caged birds were rescued from a bus six days later and 2,140 others were taken from a private car four days after that.

“I think this is the biggest bird seizure that has ever happened in a period of 10 days,” said executive director of FLIGHT: Protecting Indonesia’s Birds, Marison Guciano, to The Dodo.

Traffickers took the Sumatran birds to illegally transport them to Java, where most people traditionally keep them as pets.

“Millions of people keep birds as pets so they can hear them sing,” added Guciano to The Dodo.

Luckily, those who survived will finally return to their home in the forests.

Bird Population Declining

A number of wild animal species are now facing extinction and Indonesia’s love for their songbirds and pet trade in the country is not helping either.

According to a new report by BirdLife International, about 40 percent of the world’s bird species are continuously declining.

Just last year, about 19 bird species found in Indonesia were marked vulnerable or endangered – hunting and illegal pet trade one of its top causes.

Though filled with a lot of exotic and beautiful birds in the country, Indonesia does not have any law to protect them from these illegal acts.

Javan hawk-eagle, Indonesia’s national bird, is one of the few bird species that is threatened with extinction with only more or less 600 left.

Most captured birds die during the transportation process before being sold to possible buyers.

“Thousands of birds are smuggled in small boxes, and travel, at times, hundreds of kilometers to reach the bird markets,” said Guciano.

The birds who survived the travel then face the cruel environment of the markets. They are chained and locked in small, dirty cages and are not always given any food or water.