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By AFP


Bags full of geckos: Vienna airport officials rescue 90 reptiles

A 50-year-old Czech citizen is suspected of illegally transporting the animals on a flight from Addis Ababa to Vienna.


Vienna airport customs officials have rescued almost 90 reptiles, mostly geckos, crammed into boxes inside several bags, Austria’s finance ministry said on Tuesday.

The animals — 85 geckos of various species, two snakes and two scorpions — were worth some 47,000 euros ($51,000) in total and found in three transport boxes on May 23, the ministry said.

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A 50-year-old Czech citizen is suspected of illegally transporting the animals on a flight from Addis Ababa to Vienna, it added.

When questioned, the man said the reptiles were “worthless”, insisting he only took the geckos to feed the snakes.

The reptiles — some in a “very bad” condition and showing signs of dehydration — have recovered well so far and are at Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoo for now.

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