Large number of venomous and dangerous animals seized from individual in Gran Canaria

Michael Allen Smith from Seattle, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Guardia Civil has seized a large number of venomous and dangerous animals from the private collection of an individual in Gran Canaria.

The Guardia Civil in Telde (Gran Canaria) has seized a large private collection of 53 venomous and potentially dangerous animals, including an alligator snapping turtle, a Gila monster, a Chinese crocodile lizard, several species of caimans and an African dwarf crocodile.

These protected and venomous animals are subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and their owner has been arrested as part of operation Naja-Gc, reported the Guardia Civil in a statement.

The animals come from America, Africa, Asia and Oceania, and are considered endangered and vulnerable protected species.

During the search of the individual’s home, the police came across a range of different facilities used to house the various species: three large aquariums, forty terrariums and two rooms equipped for the breeding of rodents and two primates.

These facilities pose a danger to the lives, physical integrity and health of people, as they are located in an urban residential area.

The investigation was opened by SEPRONA at the end of 2021, and a large alligator was observed on the top of the building during a drone inspection.

The animals seized included an alligator snapping turtle, a Gila monster, a Chinese crocodile lizard, several species of caiman, an African dwarf crocodile, two reticulated pythons, two tarantulas, several species of cobra (a king cobra, a Philippine cobra, an albino monocle cobra, a Cape cobra, a spitting cobra) and several species of vipers (a Gabonese viper, a horned desert viper), two rattlesnakes, one western green mamba, several species of monitor lizards, two central bearded dragons, one common blue-tongued skink, one rhinoceros iguana, eleven California kingsnakes, two black-tufted marmosets, insects and rodents.

Of these species, 12 are venomous and have the potential to cause death, serious injury or life-threatening trauma or diseases.

Furthermore, these animals pose a serious threat to biodiversity and their uncontrolled release into the wild could be a risk to the ecosystem.


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Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]