Image: Rescued kanagaroo
Mochammad Risyal Hidayat  /  AFP-Getty Images
An Indonesian conservation officer shows one of 10 kangaroos rescued.
updated 12/5/2009 11:20:47 AM ET 2009-12-05T16:20:47

Indonesian police arrested a man accused of smuggling 10 rare kangaroos by boat from New Guinea island, an official said Saturday.

The Indonesian suspect was caught Friday as he offloaded the exotic marsupials at the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya, said Police Maj. Widarmanto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name. Five of kangaroos had died.

The five surviving kangaroos — of a small, rain forest-dwelling variety — were given to a Surabaya animal sanctuary, Widarmanto said.

Illegal trade in rare and exotic animals is rampant in Indonesia, where law enforcement is generally poor.

The suspect, who has not been named, faces up to five years in jail and a $11,000 fine for violating Indonesian conservation laws.

Kangaroos are native only to Australia and New Guinea, which is divided into Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua and the country of Papua New Guinea.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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