Too bad people aren't satisfied with going to shelters or other places to adopt loving animals. Instead they have to smuggle in cuddly pets like boas and lizards.
But let's be serious. These "rare pets" are not really pets at all. They are status symbols for the rich or have some folkloric symbolism to the not-so-rich. There is no appreciation or love for a species going on here.
"In the past two years we have been seizing a lot of animals, including some on the lists of endangered species assembled by international organizations," a publicity official at Guangzhou Customs surnamed Xu told China Daily yesterday.
Many of them were destined for local pet markets, she said.
Smugglers send the animals from other countries to China via sea transport or mail, she said.
Customs officials recently cracked a case in which a South Korean man tried to smuggle 50 boas and 56 lizards into Guangzhou from Jakarta, Indonesia, by air.
Customs and anti-smuggling officials spotted 10 suspicious bags and three boxes in his suitcase as his luggage passed through a scanner on December 14.
Closer investigation revealed the contraband snakes and lizards.
Animal experts said the animals belonged to 10 different species.
Photo by Crimson Chaos.