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'Shoot to Kill' Order for Jalak Bird Poachers

Fed Up with Poachers of Bali's Endangered 'Jalak Putih' Birds, Governor Issues Order that Could Make Poacher Soon Extinct.

(12/31/2001) At a ceremony on Wednesday, December 26, 2001, in which he released 5 endangered Jalak Putih or Leocopsar Rothschild at the Taman Nasional Bali Barat nature preserve, Bali's Governor, Dewa Made Beratha, ordered officials to not hesitate to shoot-on-site anyone caught stealing the rare breed of bird found in a natural state only on Bali.

The current wild population of the Jalak Bali,popularly known as the Bali Starling, remains at only 6 birds, down from an estimated 109 birds in 1974. Larger breeding populations of the birds do exist, however, in zoos abroad.

The Governor, commenting on the black market price of between Rp. 15 - 20 million (US$1,500 - US$2,000) for the birds, reminded authorities not to be tempted by money to collude in acts that will cause the bird's extinction.

In a related incident suggesting perhaps a long-awaited crackdown on the illegal animal trade, 20 animals were seized in a raid by police at a private residence in Denpasar on Thursday, December 27. The police raid on the home of Arifin and Andre Heryanto on Jalan Kanda No. 8, Ngurah Rai, netted 8 peacocks, 5 Bali Starlings, a sea eagle, 2 cockatoo majors and 8 crown pigeons.

Despite the Governor's orders, apparently no shots were fired during the police seizure of the endangered species.