Philippine customs authorities seize 119 live tarantulas from Poland

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MANILA, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Airport customs officials in the Philippines have seized 119 live tarantulas concealed inside a parcel containing a pair of rubber shoes in a warehouse at Manila's international airport, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Friday.

The bureau said the different species of the spiders from Poland were discovered on October 28, individually packed in vials stuffed in the shoes.

The tarantulas, classified as endangered wildlife species, were turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the bureau said.

In April last year, airport customs authorities also intercepted 757 live tarantulas concealed inside oatmeal and cookie boxes and 87 live spiders inside white plastic canisters from Poland.

Tarantulas are considered endangered wildlife species in the Philippines. Illegal wildlife trading in the Philippines could face imprisonment of up to a year and a fine of up to 200,000 pesos (roughly 4,133 U.S. dollars).

Earlier this month, airport customs officers also intercepted a reticulated python hidden inside a rattan basket concealed in a parcel bound for the United States.

From 2018, the bureau said it turned over to DENR 2,152 wildlife and endangered species, including 250 geckos, 254 corals, and other endangered reptiles sent through air parcels, baggage, and shipments. Enditem

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