官方APP下载:英语全能特训(微信小程序版,支持苹果手机、安卓手机)
创办于2003年
UNSV记不住?那就记中文谐音“忧安思危”吧!
  Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
UNSV英语学习频道 - Slow and steady wins the race!

英语全能特训(微信小程序)
UNSV英语学习频道淘宝网店
客服短信:18913948480
客服邮箱:web@unsv.com
初级VIP会员
全站英语学习资料下载。
¥98元/12个月

Songbirds Silenced as Colombia Fights Wildlife Trafficking

阅读次数:


VIP会员专享下载:(非VIP会员无权下载!如果想下载,但还不是VIP会员,请点此订购
下载方式:使用鼠标右键(注意是鼠标右键!)点击下面的MP3音频/MP4视频链接,然后选择“另存为…”。
MP3节目录音 MP3节目录音 
文章原文
同步字幕

The metal doors of a small cage open up and a bird wearing the number 8-1-1 flies into a larger enclosure.

The bird, a saffron finch, lands on a tree and moves its red head to the side, as if it is surprised.

"That's what it feels like to be free," said Juan Camilo Panqueba. He works at a wildlife center in the Colombian city of Bogota, far from the Caribbean coast, where the bird usually lives.

The moment of release is very different from the conditions in which the bird was found.

Three weeks ago, Colombian officials seized 32 finches in a surprise raid on a group organizing cockfighting events. Officials accuse the group of setting up a songbird competition, called "the clash of titans," on social media. People won money if they correctly predicted the winner.

Birdsong contests have taken place throughout the Caribbean for hundreds of years. But capturing any wildlife without government permission is a crime in Colombia.

Until recently, officials did not enforce the law. They were too busy fighting violence from the drug trade, rebel fighters and other armed groups. But now, as violence has fallen and with the drug trade mostly destroyed, officials are taking another look.

Colombians have grown to understand the importance of their country's biodiversity. It is said to have the second highest biodiversity levels in the world.

Officials are working to end animal trafficking. Last year, police seized more than 34,600 animals illegally trapped in the wild — a 44% increase over 2017 levels. Many of the animals were found at airports and bus stations by dogs trained to find bird feathers or skin.

Colombian government lawyers are also going after criminals that use the illegal animal trade to earn money. Police say illegal sales of birds and animals are nearly as profitable as illegal drugs or arms trade. Worldwide, the wildlife trade is worth more than $10 billion, notes the United Nations' Office on Drugs and Crime.

The law enforcement comes at the same time as the debate about the rights of wild animals.

This month, judges on Colombia's constitutional court heard arguments in a case over an endangered Andean bear named Chucho. Years ago Chucho was taken from a wildlife area and sent to a zoo in Barranquilla. A lawyer successfully brought legal action to have Chucho released.

If the high court supports that ruling, it would be the first time a wild animal in Colombia has ever been given habeas corpus rights like those of human beings.

The seizure of the 32 birds was the result of a secret police operation. In May, police seized 16 birds, including an endangered one, from small cages in three homes. Information gathered in that operation enabled the police to uncover the group that held the songbird contests.

A video published on a closed Facebook group explained the competition. While onlookers cheered, judges measured the loudness and the number of calls from each bird. The owner of the winning bird received $100.

Environmental officials say the birds were abused. Their captors were mostly people who had recently moved to Bogota from the Caribbean and Venezuela. The captors kept the birds in the small cages and forced them to listen to loud music all day long to make them sing. In the wild, the birds sing to defend their territory or find a mate.

"For them, it was like torture," noted Juan Camilo Panqueba, who works as technical supervisor at Bogota's wildlife center. There, he and others care for birds and more than 1,000 animals, many of them endangered and all taken from traffickers.

I'm Susan Shand.

The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

moment – n. part of a minute; a brief period of time

cockfightingadj. involving or related to a competition in which chickens fight each other

biodiversity n. biological differences in an environment as seen in the numbers of plant and animal species

zoo – n. a place where live, usually wild animals are kept for the public to see

habeas corpus – n. an order to bring a jailed person before a judge or court to find out if that person should really be in jail,

网友的学习评论(0条):
版权所有©2003-2019 南京通享科技有限公司,保留所有权利。未经书面许可,严禁转载本站内容,违者追究法律责任。 互联网经营ICP证:苏B2-20120186
网站备案:苏ICP备05000269号-1中国工业和信息化部网站备案查询
广播台