KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia confiscated 628 different species of animals, including snakes, tortoises and palm civets, the country’s Wildlife and National Parks Department said on Friday.
At a press conference in the Malaysian capital, Perhilitan agents unveiled the hundreds of different species that were seized, as well as dozens of wildlife artifacts, such as skulls and eggs.
Among the animals that were seized are tortoises, scorpions, and various species of snake, as well as skulls and hornbill birds’ beaks, which are considered by some to hold special religious significance, and are also used as lucky charms.
Palm civets are used in the production of Indonesia’s famous brand of coffee, known as “Kopi Luwak,” which is considered one of the world’s most expensive.
The various items and animals were seized during two raids on June 4 and May 28, which led to the arrest of at least one person.
“On June 4, a 65-year-old man was arrested by Perhilitan enforcement officers in a raid,” Perhilitan director Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim told reporters.
“There, we uncovered and seized various wildlife eggs and species. The man is now under arrest for further investigation under the Wildlife Conservation Act (Act 716) for keeping wildlife without the permission of Perhilitan,” the director added.
Despite international efforts, the illegal trade of endangered wildlife continues to flourish across Asia, where they are sold to private buyers and collectors or used in the production of traditional medicines.