Colombia police seize hundreds of tarantula spiders being smuggled to Europe

It comes after a shipment of 3, 493 shark fins were confiscated en route to Hong Kong in September

Emily Atkinson
Thursday 02 December 2021 22:59
<p>Tarantulas are native to the US, Mexico and South America among other places</p>

Tarantulas are native to the US, Mexico and South America among other places

Over 200 tarantulas being smuggled to Europe via Bogota airport have been seized by Columbian police in the largest shipment of the species since 2018, according to authorities.

Two German citizens were detained at the airport in the Colombian capital after being discovered to have 210 plastic containers in their possession holding 232 tarantulas, nine spider eggs and eight scorpions and 67 roaches.

The pair claimed their Europe-bound cargo for academic purposes. Authorities hit back at the excuse, saying they did not have permits to remove the insects from Colombia.

Bogota’s environment secretary, Carolina Urrutia, said: “We haven’t had a shipment of tarantulas this size since 2018 (and) the largest we have had this year was shark fins.”

It comes after a shipment of 3, 493 shark fins en route to Hong Kong were confiscated in the country in September. The number of fins amounts to between 900 and 1,000 sharks.

According to officials, over 11,000 specimens have been seized over the course of this year.

Colombia is a country which boasts a rich diversity of wildlife as the home to tens-of-thousands of different species. As a result, it is often a site for traffickers.

The animals are currently under examination who are working to determine whether they are to be freed or relocated.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in