Elephant head among stuffed animals seized during raids
Police in Spain have dismantled a network which dealt in the illegal sale of stuffed animals of special protection, including parts of an elephant.
Many of them were in the hands of a taxidermist who was working on 20 specimens on behalf of the main suspect, a collector from Mallorca.
Raids were carried out in Madrid, Navarra and Cata-lonia, as well as the Balearics, as part of the second phase of operation “Loxodonta”.
In Madrid, agents of the Seprona of the Civil Guard investigated a person who acted as an intermediary, organising transactions of animals which were listed as endangered species.
In Navarra, several parts of a naturalised African elephant were seized, specifically the complete head including the trunk, a pair of fangs and two ears.
The first phase had been carried out in January when one person was arrested for an alleged crime of smuggling and another against flora and fauna. It culminated in one of the largest seizures in Spain of specimens dissected and protected by International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The detained person was engaged in the sale through the internet of trophies of stuffed game whose trade is restricted or expressly prohibited by this agreement.
More than 100 firearms were also seized, of which 36 lacked documentation, 18 of them were in perfect operation and four of them were forbidden weapons.
In all, 70 animals or parts were confiscated which police say would have fetched more than 200,000 euros on the black market.