A Czech national was caught before boarding a transatlantic flight with 247 live animals including snakes and endangered reptiles all packed in a bulging suitcase, reports said Monday.
The man, Karel Abelovsky, 51, was trying to board a flight for Madrid when shocked baggage X-ray technicians and staff for Iberia Airlines at Ezeiza Airport in greater Buenos Aires noticed ” substances moving inside,” local media reported.
When the bag was opened, they found over 200 reptiles and mollusks, and nine species of poisonous snakes that included South American pitvipers, packed in plastic containers. He also had 15 venomous vipers, including two yararas, which can measure up to five feet and several young boas.
Many of the animals were said to be extremely rare and protected by the Convention of Endangered Species.
Two animals were found dead and others could have had fate due to a lack of oxygen if the suitcase had been placed in the plane’s cargo area.