Apparently a tourist was trying to make off with some of our protected reptiles — in his underwear:
44 endangered New Zealand geckos and skinks were found hidden in the underwear of a German tourist at Christchurch International Airport on Sunday night. …
A Department of Conservation herpetologist identified 24 geckos from five species, and 20 skinks of two species.
“It was also determined that 14 of the 15 adult female geckos and 12 of the 14 female skinks in the defendant’s possession were pregnant. Each pregnant animal is likely to give birth to multiple live young in the coming weeks,” said Mike Bodie, Conservancy Solicitor Department of Conservation.
Skinks are a threatened species, and as far as I know, not easy to find.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a gecko in New Zealand, though I spotted some when I was in Hawai’i this time last year. They were a brilliant green. Beautiful. Apparently they are the Gold dust day gecko.
People have no business trying to smuggle any animals out of our country. It’s good to know that the system worked to prevent it this time.