German customs have seized four feet from a protected alligator species that were impaled on wooden sticks and sent as a gift from the USA.
The postal package containing the American alligator’s feet was reportedly sent to a 48-year-old man from the city of Gelsenkirchen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) commonly referred to as ‘gators’, are considered the official state reptile of Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, in the USA.
They were reportedly listed as an endangered species by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, due to illegal hunting.
But subsequent conservation efforts allowed their numbers to grow after which their endangered status was removed about a decade later.
Today they are listed as protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
In addition, they are also protected in accordance with the Appendix B of the European species protection law, and even enjoy special protection under Germany’s Federal Nature Conservation Act.
German Customs said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “The import of live or dead animals of this species into the European Union requires a permit.
“The same applies to the import of goods made from parts of the American alligator.”
Since the package did not contain the required permit the bizarre ‘gift’ was confiscated by the Gelsenkirchen Customs officials.
The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation should decide whether the find will be used for illustrative and training purposes or whether they will be destroyed.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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