Cockatoos smuggled into Britain in a BRA 17 years ago have their first baby chick

October 29, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

A pair of cockatoo illegally smuggled into Britain from Australia as eggs hidden in a bra have had their first chick.

The two birds were brought into the UK In 1996 by a gang headed by a retired vet who was sent to prison for eight months for animal offences.

They were bought for £50,000 on the back market and smuggled into the country in a specially adapted bra.

The baby cockatoo born to parents smuggled illegally into Britain hidden in a bra

The baby cockatoo born to parents smuggled illegally into Britain hidden in a bra

But they were rescued when the smuggling gang was smashed and the eggs were taken into care.

They were later hatched and 17 years later the pair of birds have now had their first chick.

Their egg was taken to an incubator because previous eggs from the couple had broken before they hatched.

The chick is being hand-reared by animal staff in Cornwall

The chick is being hand-reared by animal staff in Cornwall

The chick is now being hand-reared by staff at its home at Paradise Park in Hayle, Cornwall.

Curator David Woolcock said: “The little chick is very active and its long, fluffy, yellow feathers make it very endearing.”

The birds, which are black with red tail feathers, usually grow to be between 55cm and 63cm (21ins to 24ins) tall, and can live for more than 100 years.

They can be found in flocks of hundreds or more than 1,000 birds across Australia, or just in small family groups.

*In 1996 Alan Griffiths, a 68-year-old vet from Wales, was jailed for eight months at Swansea Crown Court for bird smuggling. His gang was bringing them into the UK in specially adapted pants and bras. The exotic eggs racket was smashed when Australian customs arrested one gang member at Perth Airport.

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