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Germans apprehended with hundreds of tarantulas

Alistair Walsh
December 2, 2021

Airport workers discovered hundreds of tarantulas in a suitcase. Two Germans found carrying the tarantulas and scorpions said they were taking them for academic purposes.

A tarantula on a while background
The Germans allegedly lacked permits to collect the tarantulasImage: A. Schauhuber/blickwinkel/imago images

Colombian authorities seized hundreds of spiders allegedly being smuggled to Germany on Thursday.

The Bogota Environment Ministry said two Germans had been apprehended at Bogota's El Dorado International Airport with 232 tarantulas, one scorpion with seven offspring, nine spider eggs and 67 cockroaches in plastic containers.

The containers were being carried in a suitcase.

The two claimed that they were transporting the creatures for academic purposes, but lacked permission or permits, according to authorities.

The arthropods were collected in the municipality of San Luis de Gaceno, in Boyaca, according to a statement released by the ministry.

The ministry released a video of the find on YouTube, and published photos of the alleged smugglers with their backs turned to the camera.

"This is the second case in less than three months in which wild animals have been seized at El Dorado airport. During this year we have already recovered more than 11,000 specimens throughout the city. Once again, wild animals will always be better off free and at home," Bogota's environment secretary, Carolina Urrutia said, in a post on Twitter.

The animals were transferred to a government center where experts assessed the find and whether they could be released.

Earlier this year, two Germans, one Polish and one Venezuelan were caught allegedly carrying nine tarantula specimens out of Colombia and charged.

Bogotá's beautiful wildlife

Edited by Sean Sinico.