Caught With 49 Lizards, Man Says He’ll Bite Off One’s Head


There have been a number of reports about people trying to smuggle exotic animals past airport security and customs officials by drugging them and packing them in suitcases. As reported in Agence France-Presse via Raw Story, a German man was willing and eager to take another step to hang onto his illegal cargo.

The 28-year-old German man, returning from Oman, was stopped by customs officials in Munich after they found 31 spiny-tailed lizards and 18 other reptiles, including geckos and wall lizards, in his luggage. The man (who remains unidentified) said that the animals were meant as foodstuffs — were for his “personal food supply” —  and that this was the reason he had gone through the green channel.

To prove his point, the man then offered to bite off the head of one of the spiny-tailed lizards.

As Thomas Meister, a spokesman for the customs agency, said, the official decline such an offer. The 49 reptiles were impounded; the man will probably be fined 1,000 euros (about $1,300) or more.

The animals are reported to be under the care of a veterinarian. While some sources describe their condition as “fine,” others describe them as being in “the rudest of health” following their ordeal of being packed up in a suitcase for several hours.

Officials remain “skeptical” about the man’s claims, as the animals could be worth much on the black market.

Both for the inhumane transporting of the animals in his luggage and for saying that he was quite ready to kill one on the spot, it seems that this individual ought to be charged with more than a few counts of cruel and inhuman treatment of animals. Certainly the incident is a reminder of why we need to stop trafficking in exotic animals: Should penalties such as fines be stiffer?

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Photo by Just chaos


katarzyna phillips

in answer to the question posed, YES! as the article says, he "ought to be charged with more than a few counts of cruel and inhuman treatment of animals". this really can't go on. i'm glad the man was caught, but something more than just a measly fine should be his sentence

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M5 years ago

I agree with Sheri D. that jail time should be mandatory and it should be lengthy. A mere 1,300 dollar fine is too little to stop a smuggler. Having as many reptiles as he apparently had should bring many charges of inhumane transporting of animals and abuse to animals.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

I hope he was only trying to get out of trouble. Eating a lizard? One that is a common pet at that? disgusting. Poor reptiles, I know luggage would not be a mode of travel ideally

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright5 years ago

Imposing much, much higher penalties for all animal abuse must be a priority. This guy is not right in the head and I think this world would be a better place without him in it. He needs to go away permanently.

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Sandra Noah
Sandra Noah5 years ago

A crocodile and alligator are also reptiles I wonder which would bite his head off.

Masha Samoilova
Past Member 5 years ago


Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch5 years ago

Larger fines, and manditory imprisonment is what we need, to combat this growing market for illegal and endangered animals.

Katarzyna J.
Katarzyna J5 years ago

The fines are FAR too lenient, such bestiality should be punished severely!

Stefanie Doerfle Soto
Stefanie Soto5 years ago

Fines for crimes like that are not tuff enough. Thats like a slap on the wrist. He will do this again, because that fine not even put a hole in his pocket. Let him work in a Gatorfarm on a chain and clean out poop .