Customs seize live endangered lizards in parcels in Shanghai

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 17, 2019
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A total of 80 live lizards were seized by customs authorities in Shanghai recently, Shanghai Customs said Monday.

Shanghai Customs' sniffer dogs discovered two suspicious postal parcels during an inspection on Sept. 7. Customs officers later found 80 lizards packed inside.

The lizards, each measuring 30 cm in length, were later confirmed as green iguanas, also known as American iguanas. It will grow up to about two meters long, and is listed within the Appendix II by CITES.

Shanghai Customs said it was the first time to capture this type of reptile and that the suspects had been arrested.

The customs said green iguanas have become more popular among pet lovers due to their bright colors. People risk smuggling them into the country to breed or make large profits. However, the customs warned that green iguanas have a strong reproductive capacity and a strong ability to adapt to new environments, which will affect the local ecosystem.

In addition, Shanghai Customs also seized 23 snakes in a mail parcel from Taiwan on Sept. 8. They were camouflaged in a hair dye box and were found to be all dead.

A total of 247 postal parcels containing live animals have been intercepted by Shanghai Customs since January 2019. 

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