Queensland cops have seized dozens of protected, Australian animals following raids on homes in the Gold Coast, Mt Isa and Caboolture.
A total of 32 snakes, 31 lizards, two frogs and one spider, were discovered by police officers – with many now returned to the wild.
Queensland’s Environment Minister Steven Miles said: “The good news is that some of the seized reptiles, including a knob tail gecko were able to be returned to the wild almost immediately into areas of suitable habitat.
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“We hope that many of these reptiles are also ultimately released to the wild, but this may not be possible in some cases if there is a risk of the animals spreading diseases into wild reptile populations, or where the original source of the animals in unknown.”
In Queensland native animals are protected and taking or possessing them without a permit is against the law, with penalties of up to $378,450 or two years imprisonment for an individual.
Members of the public are encouraged to report incidents of wildlife related crime or incidences where they believe wildlife related crime has occurred. Reports can be made to EHP by ringing 1300 130 372 or through Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.