THE FOUNDATION THAT IS HELPING TO SAVE THE GORGEOUS BALI STARLING
“Indonesia and Thailand are the biggest illegal exporters of wildlife. This is an endangered cockatoo, and 24 of them are stuffed alive in empty water bottles,” says Bradley Gardner, showing me more images of the yellow-crested cockatoos from a news article in “The Guardian”.
This is the first subject that Bradley raises as we sit down at the Begawan Foundation Breeding and Release Centre in Green School, Sibang. The images of the cockatoos stuffed inside plastic water bottles are just horrendous.
Bradley, who established the foundation with his wife Debbie, is angry about the cockatoo news. He says that the smuggling of these birds needs to be stopped or they will soon become extinct in the wild, just like the Bali Starling.
“We started this foundation in 1999, on account of my interests in health, education and environment. However, one of the focuses became the Bali Starling [ burung Jalak]. This was because the Bali Starling is a symbol of Bali. These birds are on Indonesian coins, but has anybody actually seen a Bali Starling? No, you have to go to the bird park or a zoo,” explains Bradley. “The Bali Starling should be flying free, as should many other endangered Balinese or Indonesian birds,” he adds.