By John Ensor • 19 August 2023 • 11:57
Illegal Big Game Trophy.
Spanish authorities have arrested an individual for possessing fifty hunting trophies of dubious origin, in a case that highlights the ongoing struggle against wildlife crime.
The arrest took place in the province of Zaragoza, in the towns of Daroca and Manchones. The Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil in Zaragoza began the investigation, culminating in the discovery of full-skinned heads of a lioness and brown bear, naturalized animals such as grouse, otter, jay, or genet, and other trophies, according to a report published Saturday, August 19.
Many of these animals are protected under the CITES international agreement on international trade in endangered species. The trophies were found in two buildings, lacking proper documentation to prove their legality.
After obtaining judicial authorization, the property in Daroca was searched, uncovering a lioness head, a brown bear head, and a wildebeest head, all with full skin and in a naturalized state. The operation, named Luria, continued in Manchones, where more pieces without legal documentation were found.
Among the items discovered were a naturalized capercaillie, an otter, a jay, and a genet, numerous heads and skulls of animals such as fox, buffalo, chamois, wolf, or wildebeest, as well as tusk trophies. The documentation that the holder of the pieces and trophies was able to deliver to officers was seized for study and verification.
Other trophies such as roe deer or goat skulls, some of them with seals, were photographed and annotated for verification and were placed at the disposal of the judicial authorities. Some pieces were also found in a frozen state inside a chest. In addition, in the search of the latter home, two gun racks for the safety and keeping of long arms were found.
In addition to the person arrested for crimes against flora and fauna, three other people have been investigated who allegedly obtained the hunting trophies and provided them to the person arrested for possession.
The pieces belonging to autochthonous animals were handed over to the Directorate General for Climate Change and Environmental Education of the Government of Aragon. Those belonging to non-native animals were placed at the disposal of the Customs and Special Taxes Administration of the State Tax Administration Agency.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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