Thursday, 05. March 2015
21. 05. 14. - 16:00
A cruel exotic animal smuggler has been arrested at Germany's main international airport with dozens of rare creatures bundled up in socks, sticky tape and tissues in his suitcase.
One of the collection, which included rare baby tortoises, snakes, lizards and an iguana, did not survive the ordeal whilst several others are receiving veterinary treatment. Some 90 animals in all were discovered wrapped up in the luggage of the smuggler at Frankfurt International Airport.
Mexican man Meulen Gonzales Soliz, 44, is in custody following the seizure of a total of 55 tortoises, 30 arboreal alligator lizards, four horned vipers and one spiny-tailed iguana - all in a single suitcase. He was en-route from Mexico City to Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain, when his trip was cut short after an X-Ray machine for in-transit baggage showed up the stowaways.
The snakes were kept in two knotted pairs of women's tights while the lizards were held in canvas bags and packed in boxes. Customs officials placed a value of around 50,000 GBP on them.
One animal died in transit, whilst two others are being treated for severe dehydration at a local zoo. A pregnant lizard laid eggs in the suitcase during the flight.
"Perhaps once or twice a year we discover live animals in a suitcase like this," a customs spokesman said. "Occasionally, passengers attempt to carry animals on their person. We recently discovered a young woman carrying a parrot egg in her pocket."
The smuggler faces charges of violating the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act.
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