Colombian authorities confiscated 143 tarantulas who were being smuggled to Mexico to be sold as pets, Bogota’s Environment Office said in a statement on Thursday.
The spiders were kept in plastic bags on a cargo plane; twelve of the tarantulas suffocated to death. Police are investigating who sent the animals. In November, Colombian authorities seized 232 tarantulas destined for Europe.
Colombian animal and conservation law includes criminal penalties and high fines. The country is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, tarantulas are trafficked to meet demand in the pet trade. The spiders are wanted because they’re tame and have a colorful appearance.
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