Spanish police seize massive €29m haul of taxidermy animals inside warehouse
The haul included more than 400 protected animals, some of which are now extinct in the wild
Police in Spain have seized one of the largest hauls of taxidermy animals in Europe inside a giant warehouse.
The Guardia Civil said in a statement that they discovered 1,090 stuffed animals inside a 50,000 square metre in an industrial warehouse in Bétera, Valencia on Wednesday.
The haul included more than 400 protected animals, some of which are now extinct in the wild such as the scimitar oryx as well as some severely endangered species such as the Bengal tiger.
Other preserved animals included an elephant, cheetah, leopard, lion, lynx, polar bear, snow leopard, and white rhinoceros, as well as 198 large ivory elephant tusks.
Investigators estimate that the stuffed animals are worth approximately €29 million.
The warehouse owner is under investigation for smuggling and environmental crimes against flora and fauna, police said.
The haul comes as part of an operation launched by the Nature Protection Team of the Valencia Civil Guard Command last November, when agents became aware of a possible private collection of taxidermy animals in the Bétera area.
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