Austria stops man trying to smuggle in 74 chameleons

This undated photo privided by the Tiergarten Schoenbrunn (Schoenbrunn Zoo) on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 shows a chameleon in Vienna, Austria. Over 70 species-protected chameleons were to be smuggled into Vienna this week. Customs at the Vienna airport stopped the smuggling and brought the animals to the zoo. Photo: AP/ Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Anton Weissenbacher. This undated photo privided by the Tiergarten Schoenbrunn (Schoenbrunn Zoo) on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 shows a chameleon in Vienna, Austria. Over 70 species-protected chameleons were to be smuggled into Vienna this week. Customs at the Vienna airport stopped the smuggling and brought the animals to the zoo.

The Associated Press
Updated: January 25, 2021 08:35 AM
Created: January 25, 2021 08:34 AM

Austrian authorities stopped a man at Vienna airport as he tried to smuggle 74 protected chameleons from Africa into the country.

They said in a statement Friday that a 56-year-old man, who was not further identified, had hidden the animals in socks and empty ice-cream boxes when he was caught at customs control in Vienna. He had traveled to Austria from Tanzania via Ethiopia.

The chameleons were taken to the Austrian capital's Schoenbrunn Zoo, which said that three of the animals did not survive. All the animals were from the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania and ranged in age from 1 week old to adult animals.

On the black market they would sell for for about 37,000 euros ($44,9700), officials said.


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