Wednesday, June 21, 2023


It is concerning to hear about the incident at Vienna Airport where a passenger was found carrying 90 reptiles in his luggage. The reptiles consisted of 85 geckos, two snakes, and two scorpions, with an estimated retail value of 47,000 euros. The individual had traveled from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Vienna and was caught by customs officers during a routine check at the exit for travelers without goods to declare.

The reptiles were discovered in three transport boxes, and it was initially challenging for the officials to manage such a large number of animals. Although none of the reptiles were considered protected species, they were handed over to Schönbrunn Zoo. Unfortunately, some of the reptiles were already in visibly poor health.

During the interrogation, the man claimed that the animals were of no value to him and that he had intended to feed the geckos to his snakes. This incident raises concerns about animal welfare and illegal wildlife trafficking. Transporting live animals in such conditions is not only detrimental to the well-being of the animals involved but also illegal in many cases.

It is essential to adhere to international regulations and guidelines regarding the transportation of animals and to prioritize their welfare. Authorities at airports and other ports of entry play a crucial role in detecting and preventing illegal wildlife trafficking, which poses a significant threat to biodiversity and can have negative impacts on ecosystems.

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