An Austrian man who smuggled 88 living reptiles including 43 poisonous snakes from the Philippines was stopped by customs officers at Vienna airport, Austria’s Finance Ministry said Thursday.
When the Austrian national arrived via Doha on Sunday, the officers screened his suitcase and saw that it was full of animals.
After the man admitted that it contained poisonous snakes, the officers decided to transfer the closed luggage to Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoo, where experts opened it.
They found Samar cobras, Mangrove snakes and vipers, as well as dozens of monitor lizards and geckos. Many of the smaller animals were transported in nylon stockings.
The traveler said that he had planned to sell the reptiles at a fair in Germany.
He faces legal proceedings for alleged breach of Austria’s law regulation trade in protected species.
The zoo in Vienna, as well as an Austrian reptile zoo, agreed to take in the animals.