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Reptiles and Amphibians in the News

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Smugglers & Poachers

Three people were arrested for trying to smuggle geckos out of New Zealand. (News source.)

Six people were arrested in South Africa for trading in leopard tortoises. (News source.)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Smuggler Jailed

A German man who smuggled lizards out of New Zealand has been jailed for 14 weeks. (News source.)

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Smuggled Lizards in His Underwear

Enough said. (News source.)

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Missouri Turtle Dealer Sentenced

A Missouri turtle farmer was sentenced for shipping native and endangered species without permit to Japan. (News source.)

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Smuggler Caught

A California man was busted for smuggling "two geckos, 11 skinks and two monitor lizards" from Australia, apparently having them strapped to his chest. (News source.)

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spider Smuggler?

A Welsh man was arrested for attempting to smuggle over 900 tarantulas and other spiders out of Brazil. He says he got them in Paraguay, and just passing through Brazil, but the Brazilians don't care -- no papers, no spiders. (News source.)

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


A man tried to smuggle ball pythons and leopard geckos (and a tarantula) into Norway, but got caught when they searched him. (News source.)

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shingleback Smuggler

A Japanese man was arrested for trying to smuggle shingleback skinks out of Australia. (News source.)

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Turtles & the Law

A Massachusetts developer has run into restrictions from box turtle conservation requirements. (News source.)

The US Army wants to relocate 1100 endangered California desert tortoises. (News source.)

The USFWS is reviewing the desert tortoise for possible ESA inclusion. (News source.)

A Canadian turtle keeper was sentenced to nine months in jail for keeping threatened species, mostly Blanding's turtles. (News source.)

Sea turtles and their eggs will be banned for possession, consumption, etc., in the Bahamas soon. (News source.)

Vietnamese officials seized 10 tons of tortoise and pangolin shells smuggled in from Indonesia. (News source.)

Poachers continue to threaten the Madagascar spider tortoise. (News source.)

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Smuggler Busted

If he had had the proper documentation, he could have brought them across the US/Canada border legally, but he didn't want to wait the "several months," and got busted carrying four pit vipers and six tree frogs into Canada. The fine was $1000. (News source.)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sea Turtle Smuggling

Indonesian police seized 45 poached green sea turtles. (News source.)

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Friday, July 17, 2009


Two suspected tortoise smugglers have been arrested in London. (News source.)

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Australian Smuggler Fined

A man in NSW was fined $4,000 for trying to smuggle 12 pythons out of Western Australia. (News source.)

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Turtle Legal Issues

Florida has introduced their new rules on taking freshwater turtles. (News source.)

A Maldives resort could be in trouble for their unlicensed "conservation" project with sea turtle eggs. (News source.)

A nearly $3 million "ecopassage" under a busy Florida highway is mostly to save turtles (and protect motorists), but is controversial in Congress. (News source.)

Polish customs officials arrested a Ukrainian man for smuggling tortoises. (News source.)

A Filipino man was arrested in Malaysia for smuggling/selling turtle eggs. (News source.)

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Monday, June 8, 2009


India officials are cracking down on frog poaching. (News source.)

An Indian national was arrested for smuggling turtles and fish. (News source.)

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Smugglers Foiled

Australian officials found a shipment of 35 reptiles being smuggled from one state to another. (News source.)

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Malaysian Herp Smugglers

"Malaysian authorities seized 814 tortoises and 160 king cobras" that were being smuggled under a load of garlic. (News source.)

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Border Patrol Agent Busted

A US Border Patrol Agent plead guilty smuggling to smuggling leopard tortoises. (News source.)

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Multi-State Herp Bust

Canada and NY are pushing the p.r. on a recent illegal reptile trade bust; other state's efforts (like Pennsylvania) will probably follow soon. Aspects include smuggling massasaugas across the Canadian border, selling eastern box turtles online, and selling wild-collected snapping turtles from New York to a turtle farm in Louisiana where they were shipped to Asia mixed in with legally farmed turtles. But, of course, the publicity will focus on the "unnatural" aspects of keeping reptiles in general, the "lucrative" and implied widespread business of poaching native species, etc., rather than the very small number of people involved when considering the reptile hobby as a whole.

Details here, here, and here.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Herp Crimes

Three Florida teenagers were charged with poaching alligators. (News source.)

Gassing dens for rattlesnakes is now outlawed in Alabama. (News source.)

A gang of Indian venom smugglers was caught with king cobra venom. (News source.)

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