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Baya Weavers Still for Sale on Sukhumvit Road

On 4th August at least 2 vendors were selling Baya Weavers in the Sukhumvit Road sois 2 to 11 area. The two vendors each had four cages full of Baya Weavers, with in the region of 100 birds each to each vendor. A few tourists were buying pairs of birds and releasing them and I witnessed at least one bird flying straight out into Sukhumvit Road and immediately being killed by a passing vehicle.

When quizzed on the origin of the birds one female vendor immediately became obusive so I left and oce again called Khun Tiradej on 081 817 0330 and informed him of the problem and was told that soemone would investigate the next evening.

Nick Upton, 05th September 2008
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Releasing Birds for Merit Making - A Short Cut to Heaven or a Ticket to Hell?

Bird Seller
(Photo from

Recently I was alerted to the fact that the lower areas of Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok are being frequented by a number of people selling captured birds in order for people to release them. This is a fairly common practice in Thailand and the releasing of birds or other creatures is supposed to increase ones positive karma in this life thus leading to a better life in the next incarnation. The fact that these birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have been purposely trapped in the wild and are then released into unsuitable habitats does not seem to matter.

On the evening of 25th June 2008 at about 7pm I witnessed the situation in Sukhumvit for myself after hearing the call of weavers through the roar of the traffic at the junction of soi 7. A man was carrying several cages rammed full of weavers, almost in exactly the same fashion as the man pictured (this was not the guy I saw). In one large cage and five small ones there were approaching 100 Baya Weavers and 4 or 5 Asian Golden Weavers. Watching and following this bird seller for about 15 minutes he made two "sales", one to a western tourist and one to an Arabic lady. Both people released 2 weavers into a busy, noisy and dark Sukhumvit Road and the birds were clearly disorientated; their chances of survival seemed pretty slim.

I was told that I should phone Khun Tiradej, which I did at the time, and he took a record of my sightings and promised to send someone to investigate the next evening. Anyone seeing similar bird selling should call Khun Tiradej on 081 817 0330. A photograph of the offender is always useful but can result in hostility so be careful.

This practice results in the deliberate targeting of small perching birds and if people did not pay to release the birds then it would stop.

Nick Upton, 10th July 2008.
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Related pages:  Abuse of Wildlife for Tourists , Birds for sale at Chatuchak, Massive Increase in Bird Trapping at Chiang Saen , Large numbers of Dead Birds at Muang Boran Fishponds , Birds Dying and Dead at Muang Boran Fishponds, Bird Persecution newsletter -
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