Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia (Saturday, 27th of June, 2015)
On Saturday, June 21, 2015 SCORPION Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group visited Jalan Metrologi Ujung Medan and took photographs of wild birds on sale on one end of the main bridge crossing Tembung River. Today, SCORPION visited the same place again and found a different man selling wild birds. The birds were smaller than what SCORPION found in the previous week. Therefore, their prices are cheaper. Last week, the price was IDR20,000 (US$1.50) per bird, today it is only IDR 10,000 (US$0.75 or less then 1 dollar) per bird.
The way this man marketing the wild birds is the same as the other one last week. He hangs the birds on a bicycle on one end of the bridge. This place is quite famous for selling White-breasted water hen (Amaurornis phoenicurus). Although this species is rarely sold in this place recently, this place is quite famous in this area as the place to find White-breasted water hen.
Chicken is easy to find anywhere in Sumatra, but there are always people who love to cook and eat the wild birds.
In Medan, people love to buy fresh chicken. When buying chicken in traditional market, most often, the chicken is killed in front of the buyers to ensure freshness.
Similar to buying chicken, when buying the wildlife in the Tembung river bridge end, people always ask the seller to kill the animal in front of them. The bridge end at Jalan Metrologi Ujung seems to be the “killing field” of the wildlife every week.
It is very sad that people still love to eat the wild bird when chicken and duck are easy to find. Why do people continue to eat the wildlife? The answer is ”for urban pleasure”. Some people always want to try different tastes of food. It seems that the Sumatran wildlife is disappearing gradually and no effort seems to reverse the trend. (SCORPION’s report)