Filipino authorities seized some 300 exotic animals illegally smuggled into the Philippines on Tuesday, one of the largest seizures ever made in the country, which has become a regional hub for this trade.
Flying phalangers – small marsupials originating of Australia and New Guinea -, wallabies and an endangered species of cockatoo were among the wild animals seized from Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and intended to become pets.  "In the matter of live animals, it is probably one of our largest" seizures, the government official for the environment Rogelio Demelletes told AFP.
The Philippine authorities have estimated the market value of the animals seized at $ 192,000, which is higher than that of all the wildlife seizures made by Manila last year.
Four suspects were arrested.
Among the animals seized were also seven red paradise birds and 26 Moluccan cockatoos that the International Union for nature conservation (IUCN) considers endangered.
The Maluku cockatoo is considered a species threatened with extinction by the international convention on trade in animals, suspects face up to 12 years in prison Under Philippine Wildlife Legislation
Despite this legislation, the illegal trade in Wildlife is flourishing in the Philippines where it is growing more and more via social networks.