130 poisonous frogs seized and trafficker detained at Bogota Airport

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Colombian authorities seized 130 poisonous frogs and detained a Brazilian woman at Bogota airport on Monday.

BOGOTA, Colombia, Jan 30: In a significant wildlife trafficking intervention, Colombian authorities at Bogota airport confiscated 130 poisonous frogs and detained a Brazilian woman who was transporting them on Monday. The arrest highlights the ongoing challenges of illegal animal trafficking, particularly in one of the world’s most biodiverse countries.

The arrested woman, en route to Sao Paulo with a layover in Panama, was found carrying the venomous harlequin poison frogs (oophaga histrionica) concealed inside film containers. Despite her claim that the frogs were a gift from a local community, authorities became suspicious, leading to further investigation.

Bogota Environment Secretary Adriana Soto, in a video shared with the media, stated, “The colorful harlequin poison frogs are an endangered species sought after in international markets.” The frogs, measuring less than five centimeters (two inches), are native to damp forests along the Pacific coast, spanning from Ecuador to Colombia and other regions in Central and South America.

Bogota Police Commander Juan Carlos Arevalo emphasized the high demand for these endangered frogs, revealing that private collectors might pay up to $1,000 for each specimen. The illegal wildlife trade, often fueled by the exotic pet industry, poses a significant threat to biodiversity.

The arrested woman now faces charges of wildlife trafficking, according to the police report. She has been handed over to the prosecutor’s office, where legal proceedings will follow.

Colombia has been grappling with the rampant issue of animal trafficking, with amphibians, small mammals, and marine animal parts being commonly targeted. The latest incident underscores the ongoing efforts needed to combat this illicit trade and protect the diverse ecosystems within the country. Authorities remain vigilant in their commitment to preserving Colombia’s rich biodiversity and curbing the illegal exploitation of its unique fauna.

This news has been read 584 times!

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