ISTANBUL: Turkish Customs seized 341 rare African gray parrots that were smuggled from Congo and kept at a warehouse in Istanbul, State-run Anadolu News Agency reported on Tuesday.
10 of the parrots, kept in cargo packages, were found dead and the remaining 331 were sent to a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre in the north-western province of Bursa, the report said.
The endemic birds were smuggled via Iraq, later to be sold to markets in Turkey, Anadolu said.
Turkey remains a key transit route for illegal trafficking of endangered species, especially from Africa and Asia, to European markets.
Trading African gray parrots was banned in 2016 under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).