Crocodile skins seized by coast guards are on show in Fangchenggang City, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Feb. 7, 2017.
1,609 pieces of crocodile skins, each around 1.4 meters long, and 500 kilograms of what appears to be crocodile meat were seized.
A suspect caught said he was hired by a buyer in the city to receive the goods from a port in Vietnam. It’s illegal to smuggle crocodile or crocodile products.
The Chinese crocodile, which is almost extinct in the wild despite being intensively farmed for meat and leather, are other species at risk of disappearing over the course of this century.
Some other wildlife crime busts, convictions, and investigations around the world announced:
BEAR PAWS SEIZED: Russian authorities seized 525 bear paws worth almost $500,000 headed for China, the Siberian Times reports. Federal security agents and customs investigators also found nearly 4,000 mink furs, more than five pounds of jade (2.4 kilograms), and a piece of a mammoth tusk. The paws were from brown and Himalayan bears, which are critically endangered. One person was charged with smuggling.
TOURIST BRUTALITY: A tourist at Busch Gardens in Florida has been arrested on felony animal cruelty charges after attacking a flamingo named Pinky, Tampa Patch reports. Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, was with his family when he reached into the enclosure, picked up a flamingo, then set it down unharmed. He next picked up Pinky, but witnesses and his mother told him to leave the flamingos alone. He then threw Pinky to the ground. She had to be euthanized because of her injuries.
INDIAN FLOOD: Monsoon flooding in India’s Kaziranga National Park has killed up to 20 rare one-horned rhinos, and poachers are taking advantage. Guards discovered three poachers and the bodies of a mother rhino and her calf after they were drawn to the scene by the sound of gunfire, according to India’s the Telegraph.
SOCIAL-MEDIA SALES: Chinese authorities have arrested 21 people and questioned 400 more in relation to the seizure of 10,000 illegal products, including ivory and rhino horn, according to Finland’s GB Times. They were allegedly using social media to sell their products.
BUSINESSMEN ARRESTED: Two businessmen charged in the Republic of the Congo in connection with the trafficking of 1.6 tons (1.5 metric tons) of elephant ivory made their first appearance in court, according to Freeland, an anti-trafficking nonprofit. They are also suspected of being linked to several major shipments of ivory from Africa seized in Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore during the past two years.