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Bobtails destined for the Black Market
A Japanese national was arrested at Perth international airport after attempting to smuggle 13 native bobtail lizards onboard, destined for the Japanese black market. On 24 May, Australian Border Force (ABF) officials detected a suspicious package inside a suitcase during a routine x-ray screening. Wildlife officers from the Western Australian Department of Parks of Wildlife were notified and upon inspection, the suitcase contained 7 adult bobtail lizards and 6 babies stuffed in cotton bags.

The Japanese national was charged by the ABF with attempting to export a regulated native specimen and Parks of Wildlife also laid charges for taking protected fauna.

The man has appeared in court and will apply for bail. The maximum penalty for wildlife trade offences is 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $180,000.

Western Australian bobtails can attract up to $10,000 each on the international black market. The seized animals were in poor condition and every attempt will be made to save and rehome them.