There are more than 400 protected species among the 1000 stuffed animals in this taxidermy collection. Some, such as the Scimitar oryx, are even thought to be extinct.
The Civil Guard, (Guardia Civil) within the framework of the operation “VALCITES” is investigating a person for the crimes related to the protection of flora and fauna in the Valencian municipality of Bétera. He is the owner of a huge private taxidermy collection with more than 1,000 animals, including some that are protected or extinct species.
Among the animals found are cheetah, leopard, polar bear, rhinoceros, and also nearly 200 ivory elephant tusks. The collection is valued at 29 million euros.
The collection was held in two warehouses that cover more than 50,000 square meters in Bétera, a town north of Valencia, Spain. Out of the 1,090 stuffed animals in the warehouses, 405 are considered protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The tragic star of this taxidermy collection is a Scimitar oryx, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature declared extinct in 2000. The collection also includes a virtually extinct Bengal tiger and an addax, a white antelope.
This action was the product of the efforts of a special task force that included inspectors and technicians from the Nature Protection Service’s Headquarters’ Technical Unit, as well as officials from the Legal Institute and the Forensic Sciences. The operation also included EUROPOL.
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