German convicted of smuggling iguanas

2013-01-07 19:05
(Picture: <a href=\\http://www.shutterstock.com\\>Shutterstock</a>)

(Picture: Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Quito - A court in Ecuador has convicted a German tourist of trying to smuggle four threatened iguanas out of the Galapagos Islands in his luggage, authorities said on Sunday.

Dirk Bender was convicted “of having altered the local ecosystem of the archipelago”, park authorities said.

The Galapagos National Park has requested the maximum four-year jail term for Bender, who should be sentenced in the coming days.

Bender was arrested at the airport on Baltra Island on 8 July after park officials noticed him carrying a suspicious package, which was found to contain four lizards wrapped in canvas.

The hidden reptiles were Galapagos Land Iguanas (conolophus subcristatus), which the International Union for Conservation of Nature ranks as "vulnerable" on its Red List of Threatened Species.

In 1976, wild dogs wiped out a colony of around 500 of the iguanas on the island of Santa Cruz. The national park rescued around 60 survivors and launched a captive breeding program to try to revive the species.

The yellowish lizards can grow to be over a metre-long, with males weighing up to 13kg.

The iguanas have been seen to raise themselves off the ground to allow finches to eat ticks off their bellies - the same Galapagos finches that inspired Charles Darwin when he visited the islands in the 19th century.

The Galapagos Islands, situated about 1 000km off Ecuador's coast, gained fame when Darwin visited in 1835 to conduct research that led to his revolutionary theories on evolution.

The archipelago has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1978 for the rich plant and animal life found both on land and in the surrounding sea.

Read more on:    germany  |  ecuador  |  animals
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Love is in the air and it is swirling around you in a romantic mist. This may be an idealistic yearning for that perfect love or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.