Rare wildlife seized in Thai trafficking bust

AP News
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Posted: Sep 14, 2011 3:00 AM
Rare wildlife seized in Thai trafficking bust

Thai authorities say they have seized nearly 3,000 rare animals in the biggest wildlife trafficking bust reported in the Southeast Asian nation this year.

Customs Department Director-General Prasong Poontaneat says officials stopped a truck Tuesday night in the southern province of Prachuap Khiri Khan and confiscated 2,721 monitor lizards, 717 turtles, 44 civets and 20 snakes.

The animals are protected by a convention on international trade in endangered species of which Thailand is a member.

Prasong says the truck's driver was also detained.

Prasong told reporters Wednesday that the animals were worth more than four million Thai baht ($130,000) and were being trafficked through the region.