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Passenger is caught smuggling 160 exotic animals including snakes, chameleons and frogs after travelling from Miami to Peru

  • Four of the exotic animals were found dead after travelling in terrible conditions 

Around 160 exotic animals including snakes, spiders and turtles were seized at a Peruvian airport.

The animals were confiscated at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima.

They were found in the luggage of a passenger travelling from Miami to an unspecified Asian country, the Peruvian National Forestry and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) said.

Peruvian authorities found the animals in appalling conditions, almost suffocated, as they were stashed inside medicine bottles, in plastic boxes of tools and bolts, and even wrapped with cotton inside straws.

This undated handout picture released by SERFOR shows a frog after being seized from a passanger at the Lima International airport in Lima

This undated handout picture released by SERFOR shows a frog after being seized from a passanger at the Lima International airport in Lima

Several animals were internally protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora including the map turtle (pictured)

Several animals were internally protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora including the map turtle (pictured)

A Jackson chameleon that was found among the luggage that the passenger was trying to smuggle

A Jackson chameleon that was found among the luggage that the passenger was trying to smuggle

There were also a variety of snakes with 29 corn snakes found inside a container of infant formula and 14 Cranwell's frogs

There were also a variety of snakes with 29 corn snakes found inside a container of infant formula and 14 Cranwell’s frogs

The animals were found inside two suitcases, in the hold and carry-on luggage, of a Peruvian-American passenger on November 17.

It is understood that the passenger intended to illegally enter and later traffic the animals in Asia.

SERFOR and officers from the Technical Forestry and Wildlife Administration (ATFFS) of Lima found tarantulas of various species coming from Africa, Panama and Brazil.

There were also a variety of snakes with 29 corn snakes found inside a container of infant formula and 14 Cranwell’s frogs.

But there were also at least 15 specimens of internationally protected species such as the savannah monitor, Jackson’s chameleon and the map turtle.

But because of the poor conditions they travelled in, as well as the lack of food, four animals were sadly found dead

But because of the poor conditions they travelled in, as well as the lack of food, four animals were sadly found dead

It is understood that the passenger intended to illegally enter and later traffic the animals in Asia

It is understood that the passenger intended to illegally enter and later traffic the animals in Asia

Peruvian authorities found the animals in appalling conditions, almost suffocated, as they were stashed inside medicine bottles, in plastic boxes of tools and bolts, and even wrapped with cotton inside straws

Peruvian authorities found the animals in appalling conditions, almost suffocated, as they were stashed inside medicine bottles, in plastic boxes of tools and bolts, and even wrapped with cotton inside straws

The animals were transferred to two specialised centres in Lima and they were quarantined under specialised care

The animals were transferred to two specialised centres in Lima and they were quarantined under specialised care

This shipment of animals would have a value of tens of thousands of dollars and would have been sold on the black market

This shipment of animals would have a value of tens of thousands of dollars and would have been sold on the black market

The animals were transferred to two specialised centres in Lima and they were quarantined under specialised care.

But because of the poor conditions they travelled in, as well as the lack of food, four animals were sadly found dead.

This shipment of animals would have a value of tens of thousands of dollars and would have been sold on the black market.

It is estimated that the illicit trafficking of exotic animals makes 20billion a year worldwide.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), illegal wildlife trafficking is classified as one of the largest and most lucrative transnational organised crime activities in the world, along with drug trafficking, human trafficking and arms trafficking.

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