This content is not available in your region

Spanish police seize pythons and caimans from illegal Canary Islands zoo

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
21 of the animals found by officers are classified as "dangerous animals".
21 of the animals found by officers are classified as "dangerous animals".   -   Copyright  Guardia Civil   -  

Spanish police have seized dozens of exotic animals after discovering an illegal private zoo on the island of Gran Canaria.

Officers from the environmental division, Seprona, confiscated more than 139 individual creatures from the private estate.

This included 118 animals which are classified as "invasive species" and 21 which are considered "dangerous animals".

A dwarf caiman, a ball python, two Burmese pythons, and two bearded dragons were among those animals rescued.

Guardia Civil
The animals were found at a private zoo on the island of Gran Canaria.Guardia Civil

Officers launched an investigation after reports of "a large collection of non-domestic specimens" in the town of San Bartolomé de Tirajana.

The owners of the private estate had recently died, leaving the animals behind, according to a police statement.

Seprona officers contacted a relative of the deceased owner and entered the property to discover the illegal menagerie.

"Among the species seized were a ball python, two Burmese pythons, a dwarf caiman, two bearded dragons, two black-headed turtles, 34 crayfish, a leopard gecko, 46 giant African snails, seven snakes, a bullfrog, one long-necked turtle, eight iguanas, [and] one alligator crocodile," the statement read.

"23 Florida tortoises, thirteen giant blue tongue lisa, three African spurred tortoises, 200 rats, 100 mice and an undetermined number of cockroaches, worms or cricket" were also seized.

Guardia Civil
The confiscated animals were taken to a nearby rescue centre.Guardia Civil

"118 of the animals seized have a high reproductive capacity and pose a serious problem for the ecosystem, as well as being able to transmit diseases that are dangerous for humans," police said.

The confiscated animals were transferred to a nearby rescue centre for exotic creatures, they added.