SUBANG JAYA: It is believed that the Brahmin parrot, or "Helang Merah," found in a cage in a house in Putra Heights, was released by its owner on Tuesday (June 11) following an account of The Star.
A check from The Star on Tuesday (June 11) found that the highly protected bird was wandering freely near its neighborhood while its cage outside the house had disappeared.
Two foreign workers were also seen cleaning the area where the cage was located.
After the public denunciation on Sunday (June 9), The Star encountered the eagle in a cage outside the corner terrace house.
Residents told The Star on Sunday the bird had been in that cage for at least a year, prompting some to report the case to authorities.
The Star had alerted the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) of the bird's captivity on Sunday.
Asked to comment on the matter, a Perhilitan spokesman said on Tuesday that a team of officers had been sent to investigate the matter.
However, the spokeswoman could not divulge more because she was not authorized to speak to the media.
Wild Traffic Protection Traffic Traffic senior communications NGO Elizabeth John said owners could not use ignorance as an excuse to keep exotic pets as much awareness was raised on the subject of illegal wildlife trade.
"The thousands of Malays who are online in exotic pet trade groups would have seen many posts warning that it is illegal or unethical to buy protected species.
"Clearly, that did not stop them, so they have to pay the price for breaking the law," she said.
"Brahminy parrots are fully protected by law, as are many other species that often end up in the illegal trade because of the demand for exotic animals and total disrespect for the law," he added.
Anyone who has possession of the bird can be fined up to RM 100,000, imprisoned for up to three years or both.
The Brahmin parrot is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes other birds of prey such as eagles, vultures and sheep.