Detroit Zoo caring for 8 lizards smuggled into US
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is caring for eight lizards that were smuggled into the United States from Mali in northwestern Africa.
The Sahara spiny-tailed and mastigure lizards were among 343 confiscated in September by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Officials say 200 of the lizards later died due to inhumane shipping methods and conditions before they were seized. The lizards were taken from the wild and intended for the pet trade.
The remaining lizards have been distributed to other zoological institutions. The Detroit Zoo received its eight lizards in late November.
Detroit Zoological Society Chief Life Sciences Officer Scott Carter says the lizards “represent a global crisis in wildlife trafficking” and that “many individual animals die in situations like this.”