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Thread: Rare lizards, snakes found in suitcase

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    Rare lizards, snakes found in suitcase

    Rare lizards, snakes found in suitcase



    Police believe a man who allegedly tried to smuggle extremely rare native lizards out of the country could be linked to the theft of exotic reptiles from an animal warehouse on the South Coast.

    Thieves broke into the warehouse, on Arthur Kaine Drive in Merimbula, and stole a large number of "rare and exotic Australian reptiles and mammals from their enclosures", police said.


     



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    A police spokeswoman could not say what species were stolen.

    Police were told the theft occurred last weekend, but believe it may be linked to the seizure of 44 pythons and lizards at Sydney Airport last Friday.

    A 24-year-old Sydney man was arrested at Sydney airport before his flight to Bangkok after security staff noticed live reptiles in his bags during an X-ray screening.

    Customs officers opened the man's bags and found 24 shingleback lizards, 16 bluetongue lizards and four snakes concealed in socks and cloth bags, customs said.

    The snakes were three black headed pythons and one albino carpet python, both endangered species.

    There were estimated to be only 100 albino carpet pythons in the world, and each was worth about $20,000, customs said.

    The total reptile haul was worth up to $200,000 on the black market, customs said.

    The man was charged with trying to export native species without a permit and will face Downing Centre Local Court on March 24.

    The reptiles were being cared for at Sydney Wildlife World.

    Anyone with information about the warehouse theft can contact Merimbula police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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