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Mexico seizes exotic birds linked to drug lord

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Mexico City :Mexican authorities have clipped Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s wings again, seizing exotic birds such as peacocks, black swans and cockatoos from a ranch linked to the captured drug lord.

The animals were found at a ranch that was raided by the authorities in November as part of investigations into the Sinaloa drug cartel and the then-fugitive, an official at the attorney general’s office told AFP.

The environmental prosecutor’s office yesterday said that it confiscated five green peafowls, three blue peafowls, three mute swans, three black swans, two white peacocks, two blue-and-yellow macaws, two salmon-crested cockatoos and one helmeted guineafowl.

The office said the green peafowls, macaws and cockatoos are listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as animals whose trade is controlled.

The birds were handed to a zoo’s wildlife conservation unit in Culiacan, capital of the northwestern state of Sinaloa.

Neighbours say Los Ciruelos ranch, which is located in Culiacan, belongs to Guzman, though property records do not bear his name, the official said.

Guzman, 58, was recaptured in the Sinaloa seaside city of Los Mochis in a military operation on Friday, six months after he escaped from a maximum-security prison.

Drug lords are well known for their affinity for wild animals.

The late Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar had a private zoo at his Hacienda Napoles property, including hippos.

After Guzman’s first arrest in 1993, authorities found bears, jaguars, tigers and lions, among a slew of animals, in one of his properties, according to Mexican media.

PTI

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