Colombia seizes hundreds of arachnids smuggled into Europe – .

Colombia seizes hundreds of arachnids smuggled into Europe – .

BOGOTA – Colombian authorities have seized hundreds of frightening animals as they were smuggled into Europe via the airport in the capital Bogota, officials said on Thursday.

Two Germans were found with 210 plastic containers they used to transport the arachnids, which included 232 tarantula spiders, nine spider eggs and a scorpion with seven of its cubs, as well as 67 cockroaches.

Colombia, which is one of the 17 mega-universe countries in the world and has tens of thousands of different species, is a target for wildlife traffickers drawn to its biodiversity.

So far, more than 11,000 specimens have been seized in 2021, officials said.

“We haven’t had a shipment of tarantulas of this size since 2018 (and) the biggest we’ve had this year were shark fins,” Bogota Environment Secretary Carolina Urrutia said in a statement.

In September, Colombian authorities confiscated a shipment of 3,493 shark fins, the equivalent of 900 to 1,000 sharks, which were to be illegally transported to Hong Kong.

Potential German traffickers claimed they were shipping spiders, scorpions and cockroaches for academic reasons, but authorities said they did not have the permissions to do so.

The animals are being examined by professionals, officials said, who will later decide whether to release or move them.


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