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Paraguayan police rescue 211 protected parrots

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January 2, 2013 05:53 PM EST | AP

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ASUNCION, Paraguay — Police have rescued 211 protected parrots taken from the remote forests of Paraguay, and made four arrests.

Veterinarian Carlos Britos of Paraguay's environmental ministry identifies the rescued birds as blue-fronted Amazon parrots, whose scientific name is Amazona aestiva. He says many are still juveniles and were taken from their nests.

He said Wednesday that the birds are being cared for by government biologists in a national park, and will be returned to the wild once they can fly.

Blue-fronted Amazons are among the parrots most commonly kept as house pets. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says more than 400,000 have been caught in the wild and traded. But stealing wild animals and plants is a crime in Paraguay, punishable by up to eight years in prison.