Two Germans arrested for trafficking reptiles in South Africa

Three lizards walking on rocks
Armadillo lizards, photo: Thorsten Spoerlein via Canva

South Africa arrested two German nationals for trafficking armadillo lizards, geckos and tortoises, the environment ministry said on Sunday.

The men were arrested Friday near Askham, in Northern Cape province close to the borders with Botswana and Namibia, the ministry said in a statement.

The government said the two men tried to smuggle the reptiles “out of South Africa into the lucrative international exotic pet trade”.

Police forces, national parks and environment officials worked together to arrest the men, the statement said. Officials were tipped off when word went around that the men were looking for potential buyers.

The men, aged 23 and 50, were also caught with heroin and will appear in court on Monday.

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