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Spain investigates private taxidermy museum with 1,000 animals

MADRID – Spain’s Guardia Civil is investigating a businessman in the eastern region of Valencia who owned a private taxidermy collection containing more than 1,000 stuffed animals, including just over 400 from protected species and at least one specimen of a now-extinct North African oryx.

The collection would fetch 29 million euros ($31.5 million) on the black market, the Civil Guard said in a statement on Sunday, adding that its owner could face charges of human trafficking and other crimes against the environment.

The find was said to be the largest of the protected stuffed specimens in Spain.

Investigators found the stuffed animals in two 50,000-square-foot warehouses on the outskirts of Bétera, a small town north of the eastern coastal city of Valencia.

The collection would fetch €29 million ($31.5 million) on the black market, and its owner could face possible human trafficking charges and other environmental crimes.
The collection would fetch €29 million ($31.5 million) on the black market, and its owner could face possible human trafficking charges and other environmental crimes.
AP

Of the 1,090 stuffed animals found, 405 belonged to specimens protected under the CITES Convention for the Protection of Wild Animals.

These included the scimitar oryx, also known as the Saharan oryx, which the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared extinct in the wild in 2000, and at least two other species that are nearly extinct: the Addax or white antelope originally from the Sahara and the Bengal tiger.

The collection included over 400 protected species.
The collection included over 400 protected species.
AP

The agents also registered stuffed specimens of cheetah, leopard, lion, lynx, polar bear, snow panther and white rhino, as well as 198 large ivory elephant tusks, among others.

The Civil Guard said they will investigate whether there are any documents justifying ownership of the collection.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/11/spain-probes-private-taxidermy-museum-with-1000-animals/ Spain investigates private taxidermy museum with 1,000 animals

DUSTIN JONES

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