Kazakh police call for help over parrots, turtles

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ASTANA, May 22 (Reuters) Kazakh police urged animal rights groups on Monday to help them take care of 2,000 parrots and turtles seized from a smuggler, just days after dozens of parrots died of hunger at a police station.

''We have all the conditions to keep humans in custody but there is nothing in legislation about maintaining seized animals,'' said Interior Ministry spokesman Bagdat Kozhakhmetov.

He told reporters police seized 1,000 parrots, canaries, peacocks and pigeons, and 1,000 turtles, all packed in big bags, from an Uzbek citizen on May 18.

''There is a serious problem. They might die,'' Kozhakhmetov said. ''We ... would like to call on NGOs (non-governmental organisations), if they could help police officers deal with this risky and unexpected burden.'' Last week dozens of parrots seized from a smuggler died of hunger and thirst before they could be handed over to a zoo, according to Kazakh media. Kazakhstan lies on a smuggling route for rare birds and animals being taken to Russia and Europe.


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