A 56-year old Czech man was found in possession of 74 chameleons in Vienna, Austria, the IUCN SSC Chameleon Specialist Group reported on January 22.
He arrived in Europe from Tanzania.
‘These chameleons consist of at least 10 species with a suspected market value of nearly €37,000. From the photos published in these articles, species included Kinyongia matschiei (Endangered), Rhampholeon acuminatus (Critically Endangered), Rh. viridis (Endangered), Rieppeleon kerstenii (Least Concern), Trioceros dermensis (Least Concern), T. laterispinis (Endangered),’ the organisation said.
The animals were found hidden in socks and in plastic containers, some as young as only one week old.
Three of the chameleons were dead upon confiscation, reports Zoo Vienna. The others were immediately placed in special care until further arrangements can be made.
Anton Weissenbacher, Head of the country’s Zoological Department said: ‘They are exclusively chameleons from the Usambara Mountains, a very rainy and cool region in Tanzania at the moment. The animals have to be kept at a high level of humidity, but at the same time airy and cool.’
The perpetrator is expected to receive a €6,000 fine (R110,699).
Three news articles (links below) from today about a confiscation in Vienna, Austria of 74 chameleons being smuggled…
Posted by IUCN SSC Chameleon Specialist Group on Friday, 22 January 2021
Picture: Unsplash/Not related